Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) NLT
This last March, my wife Missy and I attended a conference for parents with children with special needs. Our son, Devan, is on the autism spectrum. One session during the conference really stuck out to both us and made a profound difference in our lives.
The room was full with standing room only. About 75 parents sat in the audience. In the front of the room was a stage with three sets of parents. Each set were the parents of a child with special needs but they were all at different points on the journey. One by one, each person on the stage shared their personal journey through parenting a special needs child. They shared the deep stuff such as grief, depression and the marital problems that they had went through in their journey.
Something amazing happened in that room that day. As each person dropped their mask and shared their real self, a spirit of hope, compassion and empathy filled the room. Everyone in that room could relate to what was being said and for a moment, we all felt connected.
Moments like this don't happen very often, but when they do, they have a profound effect on everyone involved. Sharing your weaknesses with others can certainly be scary. We all have a natural tendancy to only show our best to other people. We want people to think that we have it all together. We do not want to be seen as weak, insecure or vulnerable.
The problem is that we really can't relate to each other very well, especially spiritually, if we are hiding our weaknesses. God's spirit flows through vulnerability. In other words, vulnerability is the fuel that moves God's spirit from one person to another.
Being vulnerable and transparent can be a bad thing. We certainly don't want to go around telling everybody everything about us. What we tell others can be used against us so we want to be careful. When the right time arrives, however, and you can connect with someone spiritually by being real, take that chance. You may just find a life-long friend in the process.
What about you
Are you afraid to show your real self? Do you cover up your weaknesses and try to only show your strong points? Is there someone in life that you could really help by sharing your own struggles?