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  • The Kaleid Team

To Be Open

At Kaleid, we are exploring power as a worthy topic for seeing ourselves, others, and our communities. We are considering the statement, “Love is expressed in the world through our power. To be able to love and be loved is to have both power and vulnerability. Love happens in the spaces where those two things meet.”

Dear Kaleid Ladies,

When was the last time you found yourself safe, seen, and free to be yourself with someone else? Was it with a good friend, sharing a good laugh? Was it with your faith-companions, sharing hopes and fears? Was it with a roommate or spouse, sharing tender tears?

In contrast, when was the last time you were with others and found yourself defensive, elusive, and constricted? Do you recall putting up a wall before someone else could breach your heart-space? Do you remember shutting down a conversation because the relationship couldn’t hold truth? Do you remember tensing your body to keep the negativity inside?

When we are in a relationship, we perceive power dynamics as safe or threatening. Out of that sense, we respond in vulnerability or with fear. Only power plus vulnerability makes space for love. Power plus fear leads to control. We need to sense that we are safe in order to freely offer love.

There are a million and one applications of this relational truth, and a million and two ways that we can engage in healing in our journeys to own our power and to use it in ways that dignify others. However, today we want to acknowledge the reality that we are never guaranteed total safety with other broken humans. We are always engaging some level of risk when we engage relationally. And so, it is quite common for us to find ourselves in relational realities where power and fear have created dynamics of control and defensiveness.

Because we have Jesus, we have a way through. When God came, it was as a vulnerable human. Jesus entered humanity both in power and in vulnerability, and he could do so because he was love. There is no fear in love. Jesus had no fear. He could maintain vulnerability in the face of an evil onslaught--without defensiveness, manipulation, or control. Out of vulnerability and love, he deployed his power to walk through suffering, into death, and back into life, bringing us with him. Because his power and his vulnerability were freely offered to us, we are permanently safe, seen, and free in him.

We do not need to fear.

And so we do not need to use our power to control other people.

We can learn to act in the reality of our safety, allowing us to be both vulnerable and strong. We can learn to act in wisdom rather than fear when relationships are tricky, knowing that our fundamental safety is never at risk because we are fundamentally loved.

Our question for you to ponder today is this: Where do you notice a controlling tendency in your life--with yourself, with others, with things “out there” that seem dangerous? What would it look like to open yourself to love and offer your power from a sense of safety in the One who loves you most today?

(Oh, and before you go in love and safety...if you want to spend time opening your heart to the love of Jesus, join us for our Advent contemplative Wednesday mornings! We would love to have you! Learn more and register here.)


The Kaleid Team

P.S. The resource that has guided us is a book by Diane Langberg called Redeeming Power. It is very worth the read. Using Dr. Langberg’s frameworks as a guide, we invite you to a new habit of noticing power and its outworking in your life and loves.

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