Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Tender Thaw, by Caris Adel

Be honest.  Be vulnerable.  It’s home group, small group, community group, so it’s safe here.  This is how you build strong friendships.  Real community, the growth of the church, depends on it – no secrets.  We can be honest here.  What’s said in group stays in group.

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see

Be Brave and Roar are radio anthems, and advertising campaigns cash in on being true to yourself.  But do we really believe this?

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know

When people assume that ‘because Jesus’, we can be honest and true, that we all have stories, so of course we can be in relationship together – it makes you wonder if they have ever held a story they didn't agree with.

Be the good girl you always have to be…

Of course we all have stories, and it’s so easy to be honest when we’re wearing gloves.  But what about when the gloves come off and the gift is revealed, and it looks so much like a curse and you just don’t understand?

Are people aware that there are so many humans out there who can’t or won’t handle vulnerability with the care it deserves?

My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around…

When we finally break through the lies and fears we have been taught, when we finally fall in love with who we were made to be – we may find ourselves alone on the mountaintop.

Here I stand and here I stay….

Except you can’t stay.  When you come alive, it won’t remain a magical movie moment.  Oh yes, stand on that mountain and let it all go – enjoy that moment of freedom.  Cling to it.  Remember it.

Because when you find yourself in the valley, people will still want you to hide. 

Accepting yourself is such a tender thing.  We walk around gingerly, afraid if someone touches us the wrong way, we’ll bleed all over.  No one wants blood and drama and mess in community!  That’s a recipe for disunity, dissension, disagreement, and who’s been taught to handle conflict well?

So how do you know?  How do you know who is going to be Hans or who is going to be Kristoff?

You have no idea who will fight for you and who will abandon you.  You can’t know if that friendly face will shatter once they know your truths.

‘Because Jesus’ does not solve the trauma of soul destruction.  If anything, so often, Jesus becomes the weapon.

Oh honesty, vulnerability, freedom.  What thin ice you are to walk on.

Let the storm rage on

But being alive is stepping onto the ice even though, and even because it cracks, because you know the waters underneath will be their own form of redemption.

The cold never bothered me anyway

What is this life we've been given, we've chosen? 

If only people knew the fragility all around.

When people talk so nonchalantly of vulnerability and honesty, I know they are the bull, and I am the shop, my stories the fine china to be shattered and abandoned.

Maybe the gift of ice is too much for some people.

But for those who are aware that being human means being fragile, fears and rejections and even our stories don’t define us.

And I’ll rise like the break of dawn

Entering the valley.
Embracing pain for the sake of people.
Choosing love over fear.
Having an awareness of vulnerability.

Here I stand,
in the light of day

This is what defines us.
This is what builds real community.

Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone


Caris Adel is passionate about loving people, defending the oppressed, and being a voice for justice.  She’s been married for 12 years, and with 5 kids, somehow finds the time to write about affirming the humanity at

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1 comment:

Caiobhe said...

It's tough, the honesty and fragility, isn't it. I am trying to be honest about myself, both to myself and to others. I'm never sure how it's going to go. What I am becoming increasingly convinced of is that it right to live in this way. It is being truly alive. Fully alive. Thanks for this writing - I will keep thinking on it.