Vulnerability

Psalm 61 “From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint”

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At the last STETS weekend, I noticed this amazing cross on the wall, and was even more in awe when I read how it was made. The wood had been used for years as a chuck in the stonemasons workshop at Salisbury Cathedral, the gouging and incisions as a result of the stonemasons work.

Sophie Hacker has then expertly applied pigments and metallics to draw out its incredible beauty and complexity. (If you want to see it, it’s hanging inside Sarum College)

This really started challenging my thinking, particularly in relation to perfectionism (something I struggle with on a regular basis!) It is the scars on this wood that tell the story, that provide the interest, the beauty, the texture. This is true for me too.

Recently I was reading another blog, http://parttimepriest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/sermon-to-self.html and it reminded me of the importance of noticing ourselves, and taking care of ourselves, and allowing time for rest. In the midst of ‘balancing work, study, family… rest certainly seems to be the thing I’m most likely to skip over… lurching from one over-full day to the next.

These got me to thinking about vulnerability, and despite how much I like to do, and how capable I want to present myself… like everyone else, I am only human, and I can’t do everything.DSC_7538-001

I took this into clay, fabric and wood, to think through further, (with the luxury of a morning at Hopeweavers).

I created a sculpture thing, with me hanging in the middle…

The face I want to present to the world is this pink, cheerful, capable, in control person:

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And to be honest… I don’t really want you to see past that… I don’t want you to see that there’s a real person back there… who’s not totally sure of herself, and hasn’t quite got it all together…

If I do let you in a little…I’m still likely to try and hide behind loud / sparkly / bright things… you see I don’t really want to even admit my vulnerability to myself… I’ve become a bit of a slave to this perfectionist lark… but the cracks are there…

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Even on that pink exterior… there are gaps… and slowly, I want to gain the courage to make holes in that pink facade… to let you in… and let me out… and know that it’s OK to be human…

I guess really that’s the message of our faith… not that I always want to hear that… that God loves us as we really are, warts and all… he doesn’t expect us to be perfect, or totally capable, or in control… (that’s his job)… so really, it’s OK to get on with being me… as I really am… living and learning… with the scars of a life that’s being lived… and with the need to rest (like everyone else)… and that’s OK… God isn’t there waiting until I’ve got it all sorted… he’s there now… with me… in the mess and the scars!

I need to keep hearing this… to keep working at just being me… that it really is OK not to do everything / be in control … to let love in… and let me out

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