Being Human—Vulnerability

Amy Curran

Read: 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (v. 9 NIV)

When I first moved into my apartment, the word disability seemed like an elephant in the room. As a person without disabilities, I found myself wanting to tiptoe around the issue, to gloss over the fact that my body operated differently from many of my friends’ bodies. However, when I asked my roommate how she preferred to talk about her experience with Asperger’s syndrome, she simply said, “I don’t mind talking about it at all—it’s just a part of who I am!” Many other friends were equally matter-of-fact. I found that my reticence was actually my own discomfort with weakness.

A disability makes a person’s weaknesses obvious, whereas I can more easily hide my weakness while displaying a “capable” self to the world. I can pretend that I am not vulnerable. But my friends with disabilities wear their vulnerability on their sleeve. In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul speaks of a “thorn in my flesh” that constantly reminded him of his own weakness and God’s power. God gave Paul this “gift” to keep him humble (v. 7). It also served as a reminder of his human limitations. The true gift, in Paul’s case, was the daily reminder of who is truly powerful.

As followers of God, we can be honest with our weakness rather than hiding it. Mysteriously, this is when God’s power shines through. —Amy Curran

Prayer: God, help us accept weakness as part of our humanity; may we trust in your power.