Vulnerability Anyone?

I don’t want this to be mish-mash. But, really, that doesn’t matter this morning.

Ok. It’s an election day called Super Tuesday. And focus is upon….well, I never used the pulpit to push political agenda…and won’t here. You can finish the sentence that begins with “focus is upon…”

What triggers me this morning is my Rabbi Guide. He goes by Matthew Krane by most, a singing troubadour for the Pine Beetles [a well-known group out of Breckenridge, Colorado], my wonderful fly-fishing Colorado guide. But, more my trusted friend. And today? He’s a teacher, which is what Rabbi means.

Before Rabbi Guide’s input, a couple of quotes that came to me when I read his message this morning. Not sure who said it, but it seemed true, “What fear gravitates to is this: authoritarians lessen fear.” Oh my, was my first reaction. Then the second which is more determinative, that brings “political cash.” I would add for many today, the partnership of fear and anger [really angry] finds an authoritarian candidate important…and worth voting for.

Mercy for us.

The second meandering and then connecting truth, from my most quoted source, William Sloane Coffin, “Preach vulnerability. As a minister you should never deny your vulnerability. For we each are part of being vulnerable and vulnerable is always a part of us. Even when we toast our neighbors with the feigning truth of being in control.”


This morning from Matt Krane…the backstory is he’s on the Breckenridge Ski Patrol which means no matter who’s in trouble, Matt and his crew get there as quickly as possible. And sometimes…yes, sometimes…continued breathing by the victim does not continue.

“In light of an unfortunate cardiac fatality we had on one of our high alpine bowls (12,000 ft., 65-yr.-old male with a history), the head of our medical direction wrote a very succinct, 3-page debrief on the situation, our response, bringing the helicopter in, etc. (there was nothing else that the 12 responding Patrollers could have done to change this outcome). She also devised talking points called The Five Agreements in Team Building: assume positive intent, treat each other with respect/support/patience, share workload equally, hold each other accountable, have fun. In tense situations, the first four can definitely level the playing field and bring the best out in everyone…the fifth one-we try for that every day.

Have you heard of Bren`e Brown? Our medical director used a quote of hers to put team building in the proper light: ‘When failure is an option, there’s going to be a bunch of scared folks on the outside of the arena. Being honest carries the risk of negative repercussions and ostracization. If you’re in the arena, you’re going to get your butt kicked, yet vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.’

The last half of the last sentence really strikes a chord with me. thought you’d enjoy this.”

Rabbi Guide…yes, I enjoy this. But far more. It is a valued lesson…the relationship between vulnerability and courage. Plus, my tiny footnote, vulnerability is also a connector to integrity…being honest with ourselves…and know we cannot save every life…but we can give our best. Our very best.


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s