When you think of the word vulnerable, what's your first response? Does it make you feel defensive? Do you automatically think of weakness? Does the idea of vulnerability just seem too reckless?
The truth is, being vulnerable is a huge risk. David shed his robes to dance in the streets before God, at the risk of judgment from those around him. His wife, Michal, looked down at him from the window, disappointed and critical.
Michal said to David, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!” 2 Samuel 6:20 NASB.
Before you shake your head at Michal’s judgment of her husband, just remember that you’ve probably spent plenty of time in the window, too. We all have. It feels like a “safe” space; it keeps us from engaging and interacting with life. We can keep our walls up and ourselves sufficiently removed from feelings, people, decisions, and life, in general.
Vulnerability is making a move with no guarantee of the outcome. It’s coming down from the window. It’s blind faith, and it’s crucial to embrace as we step out to move forward toward God’s best in our life. Great risk equals great reward.
I can’t tell you that exposing your truest self means you won’t experience setbacks. Because as much as we prepare ourselves and lean on our God-given wisdom and the input from those we love and respect…life still happens. How we respond to those moments is what matters most. Being vulnerable also means choosing faith, and pushing through the resistance that tries to contain us. “What will they think?” “What will they say?” It means choosing to not shrink back in our insecurity, but standing firm on what we know to be true.
It’s easy to stay comfortable, to stay inside, to keep walls up and “robes on”. To stay, watching from the windows (Michal), instead of dancing in the streets (David). When we give no weight to the expectations of those around us, walls and robes no longer have a voice in our world. We walk by faith when we don't allow the opinions and expectations of others to shape our beliefs. We step out of the shadows, open and exposed and purposefully vulnerable, in full light of the sun.