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The Scent of A Vulnerable Whisper

by Cathy Baker

Upstairs I gaze out the window overlooking the city street, onto the sprawling tree just beyond the concrete boundaries. Her elegant arms stretched wide like a ballerina in the finest Grande pose. 

Its bare limbs, trunk, all things, exposed.  

Vulnerability rarely comes easy. I’m an only child, and for me, it’s always felt more natural to hold things closer to my heart than to my lips. 

Only in recent years have I begun to understand how vulnerability plays such a vital role if my life is to put the gospel on display.

It’s one thing to be transparent, which merely means being upfront and honest. To be vulnerable, one must be willing to lay open the most tender places within, leaving them exposed for the possibility of emotional bruising. After all, the word vulnerable means able to be wounded. 

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Werner

But if I am to reflect the life and love of Christ, how could I not make myself more vulnerable, for Christ is the perfect example?

As Easter approaches, one need only look to the verbiage found in Luke 9:22 to see the vulnerability of Christ: suffer, rejected, and killed. 

He did not hide His heart…nor His love—even to those He knew would nail Him to a cross.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

It’s when I gaze out the window that I hear His whisper:

Vulnerability exposes the deepest, most tender places of the heart. It’s costly, I know. But worth every bruising.

Perhaps it’s for this reason I often make my way up the stairs on these winter-turning-to-spring days. Soon, this exquisite display of His whisper will be cloaked in color, no longer visible. 

In life, vulnerabilities can be hidden beneath many “cloaks of color” — isolation, anger, pills, alcohol, broken smiles, and humor, among thousands of others. But…

he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our
iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his
wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

I will miss the bare branches—but even on the hottest of summer days—His whisper will linger, and I will respond with a whisper of my own: Thank You, Lord.

How has your journey dealing with vulnerability changed since becoming a Christ follower? I’d love for you to take a moment to share. We never know who will be encouraged as a result of our own vulnerability here. Blessings!

 

What’s New? Our February Series!


Beginning Monday, February 2nd, we’ll explore all things pertaining to love. Every weekday I’ll share a snippet of something I love in hopes of stirring a spirit of gratefulness, especially for the little things within us both. 

On Wednesdays, the focus shifts to the extravagant love of our heavenly Father, the One True Love. 

So, why the topic of love five days a week for an entire month? 

Because love surrenders a fragrance of delight in its wake. 

Sometimes the release is minute, insignificant to others, but fragrant to our souls all the same. And isn’t that the sweetest fragrance of all? 

I look forward to sharing this journey o’ love with you!

As we usher in this new series would you consider sharing one attribute you most love about Jesus, Love defined?

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Goodbye Elaine Benes, Hello Holy Spirit

by Cathy Baker

Earlier this week I shared why I chose to take up the challenge of writing under one theme for 31 Days, beginning October 1st. 

Myquillyn Smith, The Nester, encouraged those bewildered by what subject to blog about to choose something that represents where they are in life right now. So it’s no surprise I decided on Join In The Dance…Staying In Step With The Spirit for the theme of my 31 Day challenge. 

See, I remember taking a dance class at a local studio to prepare for my mother/son dance at Zach and Sarah’s wedding back in 2009. We all went to the studio and had a great time but on their special night, when everyone gathered around the dance floor with all eyes on us, I froze. Everything I learned that night at the studio melted along with my confidence. And then Zach said the magic words, “Just follow me.” 

 

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said…” Mark 1:17a

In the original text, “Come, follow me,” is in the present tense, meaning it’s a continuous action. Jesus is continually calling me to follow—to stay in step with Him. So why do my dance steps of recent months look more like Elaine’s than a loving, attentive dance partner? 

When I look back over this summer, I see a lot of events. Graduations, weddings, a writer’s conference, and the funeral of a 21 year-old family member that broke all of our hearts — all crammed into a few months. In some ways, it feels like I never fully exhaled from the end of May through August. In the wake of the chaos I allowed days to rumble by without some serious time with my heavenly Father. Pages left unturned and truths not grasped all because my priorities were way out of whack. No wonder my steps were too.

While I wish I could have a re-do on my summer priorities, I can’t. I can, however, learn from the experience and become a stronger Christ follower as a result. I cling to the truth that His mercy for me is fresh every single morning (Lam. 3:22,23) and in turn, move closer towards Him with the desire of following His lead. I want to leave the independent herky-jerky moves to Elaine and instead, stay in step with One who forgives the clumsy footwork and occasional wrong turn from His partner.

How about you? Has there been a period of time when you’ve been out of step with the Spirit and His movement in your life? (If not, we’re all coming to your house for the next dance!) 

I invite you to join me during the month of October as we explore simple, fresh, and hopefully meaningful ways to stay attuned to the One who calls us by name and whispers Follow Me. 

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 ESV
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