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  • Pastor Rob Leveridge

Strength needs weakness.

Everybody knows that everybody is a mixed bag, right? But none of us wants to believe that’s the way we’re supposed to be.

We each have physical attributes, aspects of our personalities, as well as knowledge and skills that are powerful or admirable or pretty.

We all have strengths.

But we’re mortified by the things in us that are not strengths. Our ignorance, our ineloquence, our imperfect looks, our physical limitations. These are things to change or cut out or hide.

To be ashamed of our every weakness implies that everything about us is supposed to be a strength. But does that really make sense as an ideal?

Imagine a great oak. Think of the deep roots, the sturdy trunk, the broad branches that extend for yards. The strength of this tree is undeniable. It can withstand storms, winter, climbers.

But are the strengths of the tree all that makes it great? Are its strengths all it needs to live? The tree receives light and life from it frailest parts, the leaves. The leaves are born by tender limbs. It will parent future generations of greatness by dropping fragile, vulnerable seeds upon the earth.

Strength needs weakness.

Of course, the difference between us and a tree is that we can change ourselves and our circumstances (to some extent) by our decisions and effort. That’s a good thing – we shouldn’t survey our strengths and weaknesses and decide there’s nothing required of us to produce our own thriving. Quite the contrary, we each much invest in our own well-being and our capacity for effecting good in the world.

But a lesson we might learn from an oak tree is that it’s not great in spite of it’s weaker parts. It is whole, it is everything it is meant to be, because it contains both strength andweakness.

It could not live, it could not be a tree at all, without frailty and vulnerability.

A tree without weakness is just lumber, right?


The Table is a Christian community of transformation:

from greed toward generosity

from violence toward peacemaking

from isolation toward neighborliness

from fear toward faith

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