“My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:9-10 NIV
I read a fascinating book this summer. It’s titled The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown, a columnist with The Globe and Mail. He tells the story of his son Walker, a severely disabled youngster, and chronicles his own struggle to determine what value life has for Walker. Despite the fact that Ian Brown is an atheist, I found his book profoundly spiritual and very moving.
One facet of Brown’s quest took him to France where he met with people who pioneered adult communities for the disabled. He asked whether meaningful interaction was actually possible for the severely handicapped mind. The response was fascinating to me. Brown was told that people “constantly assume the handicapped are weak, when in fact, their ability to survive shows they are anything but weak. They are, however, very fragile.” The speaker then picked up a cracker and tried to spread butter on it. Of course, the cracker broke. He then took another cracker, put it on top of the first cracker and the butter, and demonstrated how the two crackers, working together, overcame the fragility of the one alone. Community is the answer, and the way to community is through the recognition of frailty.
I read that page again and again. We are so independent, so intent on being strong, so proud of our lack of need in this culture. We are also a profoundly lonely culture and I can’t help but wonder if the two are connected. We were made for community, but ironically our desire to show off our strength and success drives away the very people we are trying to impress.
One of the mysteries of God’s ways is His use of our weakness. Our weaknesses show His strength; our brokenness shows His wholeness; our flaws show His perfection. I don’t know who we think we’re fooling when we pretend we’ve always got it all together, but we all try it and we all fall for it.
I wonder, as we head into another year together, what amazing things God could do in us if we would bow our prideful heads and admit we don’t know everything. I wonder how much deeper could our relationships become if we were not afraid to be real.
For further thought try reading the July 30/10 post at thinklings51.blogspot.com – written by our beloved former pastor Steve.
Prayer: Father, Forgive my desire to be important and liked and successful. . Help me to be honest and real with the people in my life. Remind me that you are the source of all strength and the one who loves me despite my weaknesses. Amen.
Contributed by Karen Vine