At such a time as this we may feel weak and vulnerable. Living in a world pandemic has this affect.

We are helping some by social distancing, but it is a very small part to play. Few of us have a leading role, and even those who do are not masters of the universe. They too must wait; none of us has the power to say, “Stop,” and the virus stops.

And so we wait, and so we are weaker than we want to be. And so we hurt for those who are afraid, for those economically devastated and for those who are sick and for those who have died and for their families.

We may wonder how to experience God in such a time as this, a time when we can’t go to church, a time when our relationship with God is more up to each of us.

I have thoughts. Jesus did not come in power and authority over everything that happen in his time. He healed, but he didn’t heal everything. He influenced, but he didn’t influence everyone. The truth is he allowed himself to come in human form and to be weak and vulnerable like us. His moment of greatest weakness, the one he said he didn’t want, this is what saved us.

Debbie Blue writes, “Our response to smallness, weakness, being out of control, vulnerability, eventual decomposing is usually not very accepting. We don’t usually love what is small and weak and vulnerable in ourselves. Nor do we generally feel that loving toward what is small and weak and vulnerable in other adults. We feel threatened by our finitude and mortality.”

Debbie has us rightly identified here but it is unfortunate that we think like this because in our smallness and in our weakness and in our pain we actually have an opportunity to experience God.

Perhaps we have limited our awareness of God’s presence to big moments of joy in communal worship or big gushes of gratitude in times when things are going our way. But what if God is also known to us in our helplessness and weakness and smallness?

The unvarnished truth is that God in Christ himself became weak so as to enter into our weakness; therefore, we can experience him in our own weakness. This will take some getting used to, this truth that uncomfortable feelings also contain the presence of God.

Debbie Blue writes, “Maybe people wanted a mighty, fancy, elite sort of God. God gave them Jesus, who consorted with the commoners, died with thieves. And still we’ve (sometimes) tried to make him out to be a superhuman.”

Of course Jesus was and is super, truly God, and yet he chose to become human, like us, which in part means powerless, wounded, subject to death.

This is true and provides us with a unique opportunity in this season of weakness to come into connection and solidarity with God and other people through the mystic revelation that weakness is something that God is present in.

This is a time in world history to accept and even embrace our limits, to embrace the spiritual sensation of weakness as a way to experience God and be one with God. Our sensations of weakness, helplessness and smallness are actually doors that open onto the awareness that God is present with us.

How will we know if and when we are really experiencing God in weakness? I’m not completely sure. We will have to try on theses new feelings to know, but not like when we try on new shoes. The idea is not that we have found God, the right God, when we feel good, when it feels like we have a comfy fit with the divine. The idea might be that we will know that we are connecting with God when we notice that we have more compassion and love for weakness in ourselves and others.

  1. Tim McConnell says:

    Absolutely love this one! I am weak often. I want to own that. Smallness, I have that one down as well. But compassion for those things in me. Yes, yes, yes!!

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