Yesterday Chris Heuertz came to our community time to remind us of the “unexpected gifts” that arise when we stay in communities long enough to experience tensions. In his newest book he says, “Of course, the fear of experiencing many of these tensions in our deepest relationships is enough to keep us from giving ourselves to the intimate places of vulnerability in community, but when the risks are high the rewards are more satisfying than we could ever dream of. The very ways we fail one another are the clearest invitations into spaces that affirm our need for one another. If we can experience these challenges as reasons to stay rather than justifications to leave, unexpected and unlikely gifts await us, even in the most trying of relationships.”
When have you experienced the kind of vulnerability that goes beyond transparency to the risk of being wounded? When was this received well? When was this received poorly? What have you learned from risking yourself in community? Have you risked yourself in community? Where are you being invited to step into real relationship, into the possibility for offendedness, betrayal, failure and the like? What keeps you from stepping into the scary world of reality in relationship–both yours and others?
If you are interested in purchasing any of his books, click these links: Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community, Simple Spirituality: Learning to See God in a Broken World, and Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission. Also, Phileena Heuertz wrote: Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for an Active Life.