Several years ago I had the chance to visit Quebec City. Located in Canada, visiting here is like visiting old-world France. The food is different, the language is different, the customs are different - you know you are not in Anglo land! Quebec City was one of the original European settlements in North America, and adding to the old-ness is its status as the only walled city north of Mexico.
The walls are impressive. The city did not suffer a siege after they were built, but they offered protection nonetheless. Today the grand walls offer history and uniqueness. What most captivated me about them, though, was their final purpose: to keep out the Americans.
Peoples south of the border are typically unaware that the U.S. attacked our neighbors to the north in attempts to "enlist" Canadians in the fight against the British. Americans were the aggressors, Canadians the defenders. We fought our neighbors in hopes of forcing them to join in our rebellion against Britain, and in so doing, gain more colonies for a new "United States of America."
I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Quebec City was vulnerable to attack. The fledging U.S. was vulnerable against the British. Quebec City hunkered down, the U.S. fought. Both relatively-soon-to-be-countries resisted their vulnerabilities and did whatever they believed necessary to survive and thrive.
We tend to do that with vulnerability: defeat it. We can wall ourselves up or go on attack. It's a human condition.
Or is it?
Tonight there is a gathering of people to discuss vulnerability. Brené Brown states that “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” The Bible states that we find strength in our weakness. Apparently vulnerability can be a good thing, it can make us more human, more compassionate, and more connected. Embracing this reality is counter-cultural, and tough. I look forward to hearing about journeys of vulnerabilities tonight, and I welcome the challenge and freedom it can bring.