A Prayer for Vulnerability

Prayer by Rev. Diane Rollert, 10 April, 2016

Source of Love,
Ground of Our Being,
this path of life can be so beautiful
and yet so treacherous.
We are born vulnerable
needing and helpless,
and miraculously ready to respond to
warmth and love.

We live as creatures
who can be easily delighted
and easily wounded.
All that prepares us for love
also prepares us to be hurt.
We live with loss
as much as we live with gain.

We learn as we grow
to be marvellous, 
to be clever,
to be independent, 
but also to be shut down,
to silence who we are,
to silence who we need to be.

It takes courage to show up as ourselves,
to be vulnerable,
knowing we face acceptance as often
as we face criticism.
We learn too quickly how to wrap ourselves
in protective armour.
All of our disappointments and worries
get stuffed inside us,
hidden for fear that we will be found out
and called impostors.

Sometimes all we can do
is focus on ourselves
to find the place
where the healing begins. 

It takes time to learn to accept
the messiness of life,
to let go of shame
and the impulse to blame others,
to let go of our expectations of perfection,
to gently forgive ourselves and others
for simply being human.

Life deals us unexpected blows:
the end of a relationship;
the loss of a job;
the illness or death of a loved one;
the danger that forces us to flee
our literal and metaphorical homes.
Overnight, everything changes,
and we can be set adrift,
shocked by the loss
of what we once thought was sure.

To live with our whole hearts,
this is the risk we take,
trusting, hoping, loving,
opening ourselves to feeling,
to being vulnerable.
This is the gift and the challenge we face,
to walk this path.

Here in community, we try our best.
We don’t always get it right,
but we keep returning,
reaching out.

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves,
that the true, holy work we do
is simply this —
To remember to love,
rather than to judge,
to check our expectations at the door,
to greet each other with welcome curiosity,
to remind ourselves and each other
that we are enough as we are,
a beautiful work in progress,
responding to the twists and turns
of the paths we walk.
When we are tired and lost,
may there always be a light
to guide us back to this place.
May all who enter here,
welcome each other with gentle, loving care.