The sacrifice of vulnerability

Published 10:04 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

For the past five weeks, this column has been dedicated to the topic of vulnerability in community by answering the Five Ws: What, Who, When, Where and now Why?

We defined vulnerability in community as connecting ourselves to the potential within the people that God places in our community. We learned that God is the standard “vulnerable one” because He sent His Son to die for all vulnerable ones. Because of Christ, we are without excuse not to subject ourselves to vulnerability. We discovered that vulnerability in community is established in places where God desires to mark His territory and therefore, He will use you and me anyplace and anywhere. We know now that the time and place of vulnerability depends on when you decide to be courageous and fully show up. Vulnerability in community can be summed up in one word — sacrifice.

Email newsletter signup

I am reminded of the Bible story of Ruth. The story is well known for her plea to Naomi not to make her leave (Ruth 1:16-17) and her proposal to Boaz to “take your maidservant under your wing” (Ruth 3:9). When the Moabite widow, Ruth, was encouraged by her mother-in-law to leave her and return to her people, Ruth willingly broke with her past in exchange for a commitment to care for Naomi. Her decision of submission brought her into new fellowship among Naomi’s people but also an inheritance under the protection of God, our Father.

There is a Ruth plea proposal in all of us. In order to extend the goodness of God to more people than ourselves, we will need to sacrifice ourselves for the continued existence of the community connected to each of us. Naomi lived because Ruth refused to let her legacy die. Both she and Boaz redeemed a name, a nation, a culture and multiple territories that are marked for God.

Ruth is the perfect example of how inheritance may take place outside of bloodlines because we make intentional choices to sacrifice and become vulnerable in community. A Moabitess should not have received the promises of God’s people. Yet, the inheritance was extended to her because of her notable sacrifice.

Can you find yourself in that story of Ruth? You are alive today because someone refused to leave or let go. Many of us can look back in our family tree and testify of hardship that could have and should have wiped out generations. But you live today because of the sacrifice and submission of an ancestor or an activist.

There are people assigned to you. Whether you accept the assignment or not determines whether those after you will inherit what you extend to them. They say real success is not without its sacrifices. Perhaps you are the sacrifice needed for your community’s success. It’s time to give yourself away.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.