Thursday, March 17, 2011

Losing Control

from Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle:

Vulnerability is something we instinctively reject because we are taught from kindergarten on that we must protect ourselves, control our behavior and our lives. But, in becoming man for us, Christ made himself totally vulnerable for us in Jesus of Nazareth, and it is not possible to be a Christian while refusing to be vulnerable…

Being a Christian, being saved, does not mean that nothing bad is ever going to happen. Terrible things happen to Christians as well as to Hindus and Buddhists and hedonists and atheists. To human beings. When the phone rings at an unexpected hour my heart lurches. I love, therefore I am vulnerable.

When we were children, we use to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability.

…Homo sapiens. Man who knows. Or rather, man who is conscious would be more accurate. Man who is conscious that he does not know. Has there been a loss of knowing since Adam and Eve, rather than a gaining? Despite all our technology there is far more that we do not know than that we know, and the most terrible defect is our inability to tell right from wrong, to do horrible things for all the right reasons, and then to blunder inadvertently into doing something which turns out to be good. We try to make the loving, the creative decision, but we cannot know whether or not we are right.

Alleluia! We don’t have to be right! We do have to love, to be vulnerable, to accept joy and pain, and to grow through them.

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