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Archive for May, 2014

Tears

Lord, thank you for my tears.

There is a power in vulnerability.

A freedom in release

A safety in showing weakness

because I only can

when I know it’s going to be ok.

 

“Beautiful passion, Bethany! It is a good thing.” he said to me about my crying! Beauty? Good? How can something that hurts and exhibits incredible weakness be good? The topic of crying has come up around me much in the last year. Probably because I have cried MUCH. Many torrents, waves, episodes, splashes and glimmers. Leaks, glistens, and nasty snot-fests. They say when a people group is very familiar with something they have more names for it. Eskimos in Canada are said to have had 12 different words for snow. A tribe in Papua New Guinea had no word differentiate blue from green because colors don’t matter much in their culture. I have new subcategories for crying. This is maybe a grasp for dignity, and also just comfortable familiarity. Full on torrential crying happens often enough so I need a different category for a slight eye-watering, otherwise I would just have to say I cry every day! Or multiple times a day. My roommate has asked me why I am crying, when really my eyes are just watery. “I’m not crying!” I say. What I mean is, “please give me credit for maintaining some measure of self control because sometimes I don’t. So I want a different name for this than for the times i let loose and really boo-hoo.” You can see I have experienced some shame attached to my crying. And many people do! While others long for it and for whatever reason can not easily let themselves go to that place. Maybe a mental/emotional disconnect? Maybe a long-learnt habit of self protection? I don’t know- I’m definitely not one of those people! 

 

The Bible says self-control is a fruit of the spirit. It also says, “for everything there is a season”. And, “Those who sow in tears will reap in shouts of laughter.” And, “you have put my tears in a bottle.” And, “He is close to the broken-hearted.” So obviously the Holy Spirit believes it is sometimes appropriate to cry- otherwise he would not have written those things. Jesus cried on several occasions. There is strength in the ability and the security to express weakness and sorrow and struggle. 

He said beautiful. Beauty? Not just acceptable, but beautiful. Not just NOT shameful, but good?? My friend Carl explained that for passion to be released in my art, which is important, it has to be free to be released in other areas as well. I can’t choose to inhibit one area but keep the others free-flowing. Your crying is beautiful as well. At the core of my belief that it is beautiful and good is the belief that YOU are beautiful and good. God made you and then he said so. So if you are beautiful, and the most real, raw thing you can do in this moment is to cry, then that is beauty. A thread in the tapestry that makes who you are. One piece of the fabric of God’s plan to bring you a future and a hope, because he is working this moment of tears for your good. It is a promise. It does not mean you are weak, or that you are falling apart, or that the good you so desperately want to cling to is falling away forever. It does not mean that moment of crying will last forever. It will pass and you will have done what needed to happen to release and accept the next moment. A fresh thing can come in to your soul and fill the place that was released when you cried it out. Those tears make you relatable and real to the rest of the world. They mean you are capable of compassion, empathy and tenderness. They mean you have fellowship with Jesus himself and with the rest of us weepy brothers and sisters who need to not feel stupid and alone in OUR tears. They mean your father in heaven is keeping a special bottle on his night stand with your name on it, which he holds in his hand, as he holds you in his great big Dad-God arms. 

 

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