On Being Human 6: Authenticity

BY Doug Jones

April 23, 2013


Authenticity demands a vulnerability that too few have the courage and trust to reveal.

For the past eleven years, my wife and I have had the privilege of working in dog rescue. We have offered our home as a temporary oasis for no fewer than fifty dogs over the years until we could find a family who would adopt these canine refugees. One of the ways we gauge each dog’s transition from uncomfortable to at ease with our home and its occupants is when our foster dog lies on its back. This cockroached position of revealing its belly is one that demonstrates a trust and level of comfort that tells the story that they have transitioned well.

For a dog to show its belly is a position of great vulnerability. A dog on its back is revealing its soft underbelly, putting the dog in a position of trusting that no foe will take advantage of it. For humans, as babies and as young children, our vulnerability is apparent to all. As a result, laws, expectations, and social safety nets are established to ensure that infants and children are protected and cared for. But as we become older, most of us tend to hide our soft underbellies. Our vulnerability is something we don’t show; we cover it up, often revealing it to few people, if anyone.

Despite this, the fact remains: We are all vulnerable. To grow into a deep humanity means growing in our authenticity and demonstrating a vulnerability that is too rare in our world. Through prayer, a good friend, God-given discernment, and courage, we can reveal our true selves.

A Prayer for Healing and Vulnerability:

Mighty and gracious God, slow to anger and quick to forgive,

Thank you that we can come to you with our honest and vulnerable hearts.

Thank you for sending Jesus that we might find in your presence welcome, a hearing, grace, mercy, healing, and adoption.

Forgive us,

Heal us,

Cleanse us,

Empower us,

That we might be able to represent you, our speaking, moving, and active God.

Send us out and lead us in this new beginning. Amen.

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