I try so hard, spend so much effort, trying to prove that I'm enough for this work here in Dublin. Strong enough. Smart enough. Spiritual enough. Compassionate enough. Perceptive enough. Praying enough. Open enough. All so that I can love enough. Witness enough. Be enough. Do enough.
But no matter what I do, it's never enough. Success through enough is impossible.
Luckily, God doesn't call me to be enough. He doesn't even call me to be successful. He calls me to be faithful. He calls me to love. "Since God so loved us, so we ought to love one another; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us" (1 John 4:11-12).
At the not-so-recent IBI retreat, we talked about faith, hope, and love. During the last session, we looked at the impact vulnerability has on our capacity to love. Not just any vulnerability either. The "it might rain outside, but I'm gonna chance it and not take a jacket" kind of vulnerability won't cut it here. We're talking about the "I know a hurricane is coming, but I'm gonna go stand on the beach and left my arms to heaven" kind of vulnerability. The kind of vulnerability that leaves you totally exposed. Totally helpless. Totally dependent. We're talking about excruciating vulnerability.
Excruciating vulnerability means embracing all the things I've been trying so hard to fight with enough. I embrace weakness instead of strength. Not knowing instead of wisdom. Failure instead of success. Confusion instead of perception. I embrace embarrassment. Pain. Loneliness. Misunderstanding. I embrace everything that brings fear. A complete upheaval of my self. Excruciating vulnerability allows God's "perfect love to cast out fear." His "love is perfected within me, so that I may have confidence... for as he is, so also am I" (1 John 4:17-18).
He doesn't call me to be perfect. He calls me to have confidence in His perfection within me. He doesn't call me to be enough. He calls me to abide in Him. I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to quit trying and just love. But He is a patient Teacher. And my heart will learn.
Note: Jars of Clay's song Faith Enough highlights how God uses our weakness to show His love and faithfulness. It's pretty-much-literally-exactly what I'm trying to say here...