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Friday, September 05, 2008

Vulnerability Friday 5

It seems almost crass to post a Friday 5 after Mary-Beth's last post and prayer request for our dear Gannet Girl and her family. So I hope that folk will take this in the spirit with which it is offered; that of continuing prayer and concern tempered by the knowledge that we are called both to weep and to rejoice with our communities.

I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.

So I bring you this weeks Friday 5:

1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?

2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?

3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...

4. Who knows you warts and all?

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.

Let us know in comments if you play. And for even more visits to your blog, post a direct link in your comment using the following formulation:<a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a>
For a complete how-to, click here.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sally, thank you for your sensitive topic this morning. Might I suggest that people who want could also leave their thoughts about vulnerability here in the comments this week, if treating this as a meme feels uncomfortable?

    I appreciate your questions and want to say I feel blessed to have a number of people in my life who fit that definition in #4 and who yet love me: my husband and children, a couple of close colleagues, even a few of our ring members who I now know in person.

    The poem that gives me hope in vulnerability is Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese," which includes this line:
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

    We all need someone to hear our despair, and to be open to hearing the sorrow of others with a tender heart, although that can be very, very difficult. Recently I have been spending time with a parishioner in her 80s who lost a son very suddenly at 56. Although we have known each other a short time, I felt connected to her by a very simple commonality: her son's name is the same as one of my son's. Ministry is relational, and while I do maintain boundaries where they are needed, I hope I am always open to being touched so that I may "touch back."

    Again, thanks for this particular topic on this day.

  3. This was such a timely Friday Five for me. It's been at the very center of discernment for the past few weeks. Especially as I now that I feel like I have some clarity, I'm grateful that we're talking about vulnerability.

  4. This is a very sensitive and beautiful FF Sally.

    I think that one of the functions of the FF is to offer insights into our lives - sometimes they are fun (life is), sometime silly (life is!) and sometimes they are hard (life is that too). When they are silly they might be seen as memes, but another way of looking at them is that it's one way (in a whole myriad of others) in allowing us to tell part of our story, the who we are ... I appreciate that. I love to FF when I can, though I don't write often, as well Saturday's are our sabbath day and often the FF arrives quite late, or I have a load to get done before Friday evening.

    Today though I will contribute!

    I offer my condolances to Gannet Girl - bless her courage for sharing it with us, and for giving us the opportunity to be sisters (and brothers) in faith - surrounding her (on the cyber waves) with love!

    God bless us all!

  5. this is good, but will take some thinking about....

    songbird's suggestion is good, too....

  6. Thank you for this great Friday Five. I haven't played in quite awhile, but am reconnecting here.

  7. Such good reflective questions...and much care and thought given by all. Right now I may take each statement and blog about it on future days.

    Prayers continuing for GG and all who have had such monumental losses.

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  9. 1. I am a private person but years of therapy have taught me the importance of sharing with others. Being vulnerable enables us to touch a deep authentic place in us and in others. And, in the end I am able to be a more compassionate person because of my vulnerability.

    2.In my former parish, over time, I let my vulnerabilty show a bit. At this new call I am not really doing that and may not for awhile. I am working on developing support systems for that purpose.

    3. Masks can be a form of self protection. But also masks can be a means of projecting where we hope to go, if "worn" intentionally. By this I mean, projecting a non-anxious presence in the midst of an anxious parish. This is also true in parenting. Or in any place we need to manage our inner lives for the long range good of the community.

    4. My husband and children. A few friends and colleagues, the Jungian I used to see, my Spiritual Director...

    5. I'll have to get back with this one. Yes, I have poems, books, and music...but, well, I have to get to the office (sigh)

    mostly, since I heard the news yesterday and as I write this I am struck, again, by the fragility of a heartbeat everything can heart just weeps for GG and her family...

    thanks Sally.

  10. Thank you Sally for your thoughtful Friday Five.
    Being vulnerable, yet keeping safe boundaries, that's the problem, isn't it?
    The older I get, the more I know that true vulnerability requires great strength and courage, and that the people I can trust with my true self are a treasure beyond counting. The reverse is also true; that those who trust me also honor me with the gift of their trust, and that for them as much as for myself, I must walk in truth and kindness.

  11. Great Friday Five!

    And it was nice to play again! I've missed it and all of you. Been too, too busy!

    I was vulnerablehere. I even thought of an additional bonus question.

  12. Thanks, Sally, for this thoughtful prompt. I reflected on it here.

  13. Sally, thank you so much for this sensitive and meaningful Friday Five. I'll do mine later today. I need some time to reflect first.

  14. Thanks for this topic. It is one that I continue to struggle with here

  15. I played here, with prayers and tears for Gannet Girl and family. Thanks, Sally!

  16. This is a wonderful topic, though I didn't seem to have a lot to say today. I did post a favorite Wendell Barry poem in response to # 5.

  17. I played over at It was a good way to get back after vacation.

    So sorry to hear about Gannet Girl. Prayers ascend.

  18. I was challenged by the F5 here. Thanks for your sharing - it's an honor to be among you.

  19. I forgot to say I played or whatever at my place but neglected to note it here. I'll post pictures when I get home.

  20. I did not play today. God bless our dear Gannet Girl and her family in this time of loss and heartbreak.

    For me, I find strength in vulnerability. If I can walk with my head held high when no secrets weigh on my neck, that makes the hard things easier to wade through. And I've had my share of hard things lately. Though I do carry some secrets that still weigh far too much.

    The risk involved is the judgment, derision and shunning of others. The hard lesson for me is that when such things occur, those others were really not healthy to know or be around to begin with. And turns out to be a painful separating of my own chaff and wheat. I have too often made unhealthy choices of friends and associates because my life history has not given me any kind of filters. I've had to create my own and have found vulnerability the most accurate litmus test, though also dangerous.

    Not all our journeys match well for edifying trips. That's been my hardest lesson.

    There is one song and one music score that always bring me to tears and help whatever's bubbling to come up. The song is Greensleeves and the score is the music from "Field of Dreams".

    My prayers continue for Gannet Girl and her sweet family. And thank you to Sallly for this week's FF.

  21. Thank you for a very thought-provoking Friday Five. I reflected at my place.

  22. Thanks Sally for such a sensitive F5. I'm off now for Lent Event prep for next year and will be reflecting later in the day.

  23. I'm quite late today, I made a noonday dinner since OHP has rehearsal this evening for The Music Man. And, I was watching Daily Show episodes, finishing the book The Wednesday Wars, etc. But finally I played here

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  25. Thanks for a thought-provoking Friday 5 ... I was a wee bit vulnerable here

  26. Thanks Sally for this opportunity for self-reflection. I posted here

  27. I played, maybe not as deep as I might have, but I played.

  28. Because I can never shut up about my kid(It's relevant! Honest!):
    Friday 5 On Sunday


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