I was given a gift this week — a Christmas present. It was not wrapped up in Christmas paper and it did not come with a card attached. When the gift was being given to me the person did not say: “Happy Christmas”. If you had to ask the person who gave me the Christmas gift: “Have you given Alan a Christmas present?” The answer would be, “no”. But they did — they just don’t know it. And what is more the gift fitted perfectly — it was tailor made for me — one of a kind in all the world. As I said, I was given a very precious Christ-gift this week.
I was given the gift of vulnerability. Vulnerability through open and honest conversation. These days this is quite a rare gift to be given even though it is a gift all of us have to give, as well as being a gift all of us desperately need — although we are perhaps equally afraid of.
The vulnerability I am speaking about is not to be confused with fragility. Weaknesses are spoken about but there is nothing weak about this vulnerability. It takes strength to share ones weakness. It takes courage to stand exposed before another. It takes confidence to strip.
I was reminded again how vulnerability begets vulnerability. I experienced how shared vulnerability can facilitate inner freedom and caring connection.
Humble, gentle, truth-telling and humble, gentle, non-judgmental listening. These are gifts we are all able to gift each other with. They really are the most authentic Christmas gifts. They are not for sale because they are free — may God give us the courage to share them.
Jesus came full of grace and truth … let us do the same. Alan