We wrote yesterday about vulnerability and the importance of being willing to expose your own wounds and being sensitive to the wounds of others. Let’s follow up on that thought.
I always get anxious on Palm Sunday when the Passion and the congregation hollers “Crucify him.” It seems so wrong, but yet we have no doubt that it happened. Our daily culture encourages us to think of terms of taking advantage of the vulnerable. I used to love playing all sports, and enjoy watching sports of all kinds, but sports language, for instance, includes words like embarrass, annihilate, intimidate, pick on a cripple, press one’s advantage, exploit weakness, etc. I bet you can think of many, many more. This language and attitude pours over into business, politics, and sadly to our relationships with our fellow humans. We deal with drug addiction not as an illness but instead describe as a “war.” Our daily newspapers are filled with stories about bullying, domestic abuse, and violence. All stories of taking advantage of the vulnerable.
We must ask ourselves no only to recognize peoples vulnerabilities, but to avoid our instincts to take advantage of them. We are called to eliminate crucifixion from our heart and minds. It might be okay for a tall basketball player to shoot over a shorter opponent, but it’s not okay for and employer to sexually harass a vulnerable employee. That’s the dilemma we encounter every day. As disciples we are charged with caring for the poor, the sick, the elderly. To do so we must first see their vulnerabilities, and then help them avoid those who would take advantage of their weakness.