I was asked to give a talk in Australia in November 2017 at a workshop on “Faith & Disability” at a Christian College, Alpha Crucis. It was an academic environment but also a very personal and reflective experience as I worked through what I was going to share. Something I heard on Sunday morning just a few days prior to speaking, struck a cord with me. The pastor quoted from Andy Crouch' book, Strong and Weak, "Jesus death and resurrection shows that the idea that we can have power without vulnerability is a fantasy."
I have struggled with this idea of being vulnerable because to get ahead in academia and particularly medicine you cannot show your weaknesses. It is so competitive for grants and the best graduate students and the right number of research papers each year....it is exhausting. I've worked hard to Prove myself in my work world that it carries over into my faith world. I try not to belabour on how hard things are at times. I don't always share what is really going on with my prayer group or family members and then feel frustrated later when I don't feel people are understanding what I am going through. I don't want to be a complainer. However, Brian then says, if you don't tell them, they won't understand. I don't want to be more vulnerable than I already feel I am. It is really hard to be weak and so dependent on others at times.
Jesus came into our humanity even though he could have come blazing into our world in might he chose to come as a baby in weakness needing complete care by a mother and father. I now more than I used to, need Brian do to so much for me. He is my main caregiver.
I asked Brian, my husband, what it is like to be my caregiver and he said that to be my caregiver, he must become weak with me. He has to set his expectations to my limitations if it is going to work. It is like when Scouts go on a hike. They set the pace to the slowest person. The slowest or weakest person becomes the leader. My friend in Australia who took care of me following the months after my car accident, said that the whole family's life had to shift to accommodate my life's needs in order for me to live as, well as could be. The weakest person in the house was setting the pace for the whole household. It’s like when a new baby enters the home. Almost everything revolves around that infant. Jesus too totally altered the lives of Mary and Joseph. But then his weakness on the cross changed humanity forever with the hope of our resurrection and a new earth with his second return.
We need the weak in our communities to become the leaders either through needing lots of care and setting the pace for others, or because their lives bring a dimension to our communities that represent the voices of so many others who may not be able to share or speak up. God needs their voices just as much as he needs the trained leaders. God uses us all in His Kingdom.
It is in our weakness that He shows His power.