For vulnerability sake, let’s take a look at this beloved story from the view point of Ananias, the one Saul/Paul was told to go to after his no-doubter experience on the road to Damascus.
Acts 9:11-16 – Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now.
I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
Ananias is experiencing a lot of tension here. Tension can be good. Vulnerability puts us into tension. Ananias knew he was being asked to do something that was certainly going to get him killed. After all, this is “that” Saul. Ananias had his way of living as a faithful believer. Saul/Paul had his way of living as a killer of believers. Now God is asking Ananias to meet with Saul/Paul.
How brave was Ananias going to be? Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like bravery and this is what Ananias was facing. Bravery is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
Acts 9:17-19 – So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
Wow. A lot of life came out of that meeting! Including most of our New Testament. All because Ananias chose to embrace the vulnerability and be brave.