Wow. This is a topic. Harmony is my brave writer friend. I hope this post honors her. I am truly thankful to have her in my life. She inspires me and shows me love in amazing ways.
I’m the ugliest crier in the world. I cry awful, like sorrowful geysers of broken glass-filled snot awful. I HATE mourning. Death, whether it be of a beloved person or pet, whether it’s the splintering of a dream or that wisp of hope for my future that gets cut off, is horrible.
But mourning isn’t just about death; it’s also about the awe-inspiring touch of divinity. When we mourn we recognize our lack of comprehension. We sense God and cry at the overwhelming knowledge of our own smallness. All those tears? I know they’re good because they direct us right back to someone Higher, someone Greater.
My Own Tears
I’m a crier. I weep when I read beautiful stories to my children. I cry when I behold art. I sob like a horrible hiccuping mucus-filled choo-choo train when I come to realizations about the depth of God’s love towards me – because for me, a person convinced of her own fighting bull terrier tendencies, it is quite a mental battle to recognize that He even likes me at all. Mostly? I cry when I pray. I cry because I’m turning over my will and my heart for the purposes of God and I’m allowing myself to feel something beyond my (very limited) understanding.
Tears are a way of pushing out my own futile understanding and being refilled with the knowledge of His love.
Still, I Hate Crying
I once wished to never cry again because I truly hate it so much, but when my tears ceased, so did my prayers. I couldn’t pray at all. Stopping my tears was like losing my heart.
Mourning – and the tears that come out of mourning – is a part of feeling the Spirit of God. Crying is us being softened by circumstances beyond our control in order to be molded into something whole. We are broken people walking among broken people, and it is okay to mourn what has been lost, be it the past or the future. It is good to weep for what we have done or failed to do. It is important to cry. Though I do not like it, I treasure my ability to cry, for it means I can feel.
But feelings? Ugh. I don’t want to be soft, I don’t want to be vulnerable. I am afraid that if I am, God will require more of me. And then more. And then more. And then what? I’ll be a mess of feelings for everyone I meet? Does He want me to be sensitive all the time? How sensitive? Will I be standing in a grocery store sensitive to the leading of God and end up praying for a lady in the baking aisle just because I feel the power of God and know she needs a friend? Really?!
Buckets Of Saltwater on a Grocery Store Floor
Yes. This totally happened. She cried and I cried and we hugged each other, though we were perfect strangers, because that soft, mushy heart in me heard a Voice say, “ask questions, listen, declare God’s love over her, pray for her.” And we did pray, I prayed for her and for her mother whom she would be visiting the very next day – her mother who was dying.
After she cried, she said exactly what I always feel after dumping buckets of saltwater all over my bedroom floor:
“I feel so much better.”
Because it’s true.
Crying is cleansing.
I truly believe that even Christ experienced this, that when he cried to the Father for himself AND for us He knew through this anguish wholeness in a way we cannot even begin to understand.
What I Mourn
Sometimes I can mourn the death of a loved one more easily than I can mourn the death of what I desire. And I can mourn the death of what I desire more easily than I can mourn my lack of comprehension about God, my God who shows up despite my sinful heart and gives me exactly what I prayed diligently about.
(Who does that? Who gives gifts to whores, thieves, liars, cursing doubters and foolish men? Jesus does.)
It’s one thing to lay down your greatest wish as a sacrifice to God thinking all the while that it “has to be this way” because you don’t really deserve your greatest wish anyhow (can you tell I went to Catholic school?), but it is quite another soul-gripping sorrow to realize that you didn’t actually make a righteous sacrifice, but instead you were just giving up. You gave up too soon on your dreams, your highest hopes, your vision of the future because you doubted His goodness towards you, and He STILL gave you what you needed. This kind of love – this love unconditional – makes me mourn, makes me weep. I weep at his goodness, and at my unbelief.
So if He thinks it’s best for me to be soft, so be it. Our tears that fall while walking this earth are eternally valuable to Him, and I can trust Him on that. I’m still the ugliest crier you’ve ever seen, but He’s doing it right now: he’s giving me grace and using all this crying to make me whole. Knowing that makes me feel a mite bit better. 🙂
About The Author
Katie is a hyper girl writer who just so happens to be a fierce Mama, skilled massage therapist, mountain-moving prayer warrior, sky high dreamer, and loyal friend. She still has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. And that is just fine.
This post is part of Survivor Songs, a 31-Day series. A full list of posts is found here.