Loving and caring for one other is a fundamental value of the Christian faith. This is demanded by the intrinsic value of each human being. Likewise, when we disrespect or treat Gods image bearers unethically, it logically follows that we are simultaneously dishonouring God himself. Thus, revealing that the treatment of our fellow human beings is indeed a spiritual act. It was love that pinned Jesus to the cross and the attitude of vulnerability that gave him that opportunity.
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbour but in doing so we open up a wound from which we never recover. This notion is also eluded to by professor John Swinton who states that “as one begins to love and care for another, as one’s self becomes more deeply implicated in their welfare, one necessarily becomes anxious about the well-being of the other”. The choice of biblical love within the attitude of vulnerability brings forth transformational change at all social levels as well as deconstructing the barriers that keep us separate. Humanity has a way of justifying many types of barriers through labeling and perceiving others as different. “We create barriers to protect our vulnerability” said Jean Vanier.
The justification that many people use to refuse to engage with the weak and vulnerable of our society, is that they run the risk of their hearts being touched to such a degree, that they feel compassion for those less fortunate. Therefore, this compassion leads to actions of love and vulnerability both of which require sacrifice. If we are truly to make a difference in the lives of others, we must deconstruct the barriers that inhibit human connection through acts of love and vulnerability. It is only when we are willing to be vulnerable and love others that we join God’s redemptive work of reconciling and guiding creation towards its true state of shalom (Peace & Wholeness).