A few years ago,
(actually many many years ago, because I was in my early 30's)
I was having a conversation with one of my pastors at the time and I shared with with him,
how I always wept when I prayed,
and he said, "it sounds like it is your prayer language"...
I have thought of that often.
You see, I weep a lot
I almost always weep when I pray
At first I used to feel like I had to apologize
but now, I just let the tears roll, and fall where they may
and grab a Kleenex when we are done praying
I weep over my own stuff
As I talk with my Lord about what is on my heart
I have lots of stuff to weep over - believe me!!
I also weep easily when I see someone,
or hear something
or remember some memory
that is attached to someone I love and have lost
This week - I have wept a lot
Sometimes I use my travel time (alone in the car)
to talk with the Lord
and sometimes it is a little embarrassing when stopped next to someone
I always think that they must think I have bluetooth in the car, and I am talking to someone on the phone
Oh, if only they knew exactly WHO I was talking too
at least then it would explain the tears
I called to encourage a friend who is the "hub" of a pretty amazing prayer chain.
I got their voice mail, and I was actually happy, as all of a sudden I was feeling a little weepy.
I left the message, and then heard a call coming in.
Oh shoot - now I had to talk in person and repeat my message.
So as I was "encouraging them" I was weeping.
It seems that the prayer line has been the hub for many prayer concerns lately, some very very hard ones.
Many times God answers the way people want, you know what I mean ...
when people ask for healing,
or for deliverance from depression,
or for a job interview,
or for the safe arrival of a new baby,
or for negative test results.
But sometimes - God answers prayers by taking the person to be with Him.
GOD IS STILL GOOD even when a person dies, but oh, it is usually NOT the way we want the prayer to be answered!
Lately the prayer concerns that have gone out, have been deep and hard.
I was pretty sure the "hub" of the prayer chain was feeling the same way I was.
Sometimes you just know when another person is experiencing the deep burden for others.
So anyhow there I was weeping as I talked, explaining that really, I was just trying to encourage him.
And after I said good-bye, I wept.
I have wept over a family member
who continues to be caught in a cycle of addictive behaviours
and consequences from years of addictions.
Last week I wept again, as I wondered what kept him going,
when all that was ever important to him, is no longer in his life.
I have wept when I realized that anything I could give is merely a band aid.
Lately I have wept tears over him again, wondering and asking God what it is that I should be doing,
or being, in his life.
God? What is my role?
It is actually easier to reach out to the "least of these" when they aren't related to you in any way!
I have wept tears over and over again, but felt helpless as to know how to help.
In the last month, I have prayed with tears for friends who I knew were just days and hours away from being in the presence of the Lord.
And then have wept for those they left behind reeling from the loss.
I have witnessed the sweetness of my grandchildren and have prayed for them often,
with tears rolling down my cheeks -
especially as I give them to the Lord,
and ask for them to give their hearts to Jesus when they are old enough to make that decision.
I weep for my children and grandchildren a lot -
and that is NOT because they are in any trouble that I know of, but because of my great love for them, and the knowledge that our Heavenly Father is even more head over heels in love with them all too!
A couple days ago, the 24th to be exact
I had a little bit of stocking stuffers to get still, so off I went
I was leaving the stores and at the lights at Regent and Montana's restaurant (not sure the street)
And I saw a man, with frosted beard, and rosy red cheeks.
His sign said he would take a job, or donations
Now I know, many of us have seen the show that I think it was 60 Minutes did on "professional" beggars
You may have seen the show. It followed around a guy who begged on street corners as a job.
Yes, a job.
A job that he would drive to, and park a block or so away, change to his "begging" clothes and proceed with a sign and a backpack to a favorite corner.
I am fully aware that each person needs to make their own decisions about whether to give money to someone who is begging, or squeegeeing your windows, or whatever
And, to each their own.
Personally, I have chosen to help out when I can, whether it be hot coffee, some food, or money.
Maybe the people behind me think that "oh there goes another one being taken for a ride"
I don't believe that anyone would actually want to stand in the cold, on a winter day in Manitoba and beg if they didn't have to.
I also have another reason.
I have someone very close to me, who has been homeless often, and may just be someone who has been the beneficiary of kindness of such kind.
Anyhow, there I was, at a standstill.
I rifled through my car for some money, found the bill, and wound down my window.
"Thank you - God bless you" came the response as he reached his hand out to accept what I had to give him. And back he trudged to his place on the corner - watching to see if anyone else was so inclined. And I wept as I drove away.
I went into the jewellery store as I needed to get something I had seen the other day.
The young man who waited on me was just wrapping my small purchases.
I had chosen something for my sister.
I told him "I would like that, my sister has just lost her daughter this year." (choking back tears)
I paid, and he proceeded to wrap the gift, and when he brought it to me he said, "Have a Merry Christmas!"
I looked at him and said, "You too."
He smiled, and then I also said, choking back the tears once again, "I want to thank you - in this day and age when it is not politically correct to say Merry Christmas, you still risked it and said that. I want to thank you for saying Merry Christmas - because that is important."
I can't really remember what his response was, other than to smile.
I walked out, and wept again.
Yesterday, late in the day,
I was on my way to my nieces house to meet with some of my extended family.
I was thinking as I was driving the north perimeter - which then became the west perimeter.
I think a lot on this stretch, as it was the place my niece Keri drove the morning that she lost control of her car on the stretch of perimeter that was like a sheet of ice
As I passed by the intersection of the perimeter and Hwy 6, I slowed, looking for the white cross that was lovingly made and place into the ground as a marker.
I passed it, thinking about her and how much we miss her,
and I wept.
I have been with loved ones, who did not want to cry tears,
as they felt they shouldn't do that around people,
or that maybe people didn't know what to do with the tears.
Yes, tears sometimes make people feel uncomfortable,
but I think that is okay.
I have been with people who keep apologizing for their tears, as if they are wrong!
I think tears are healing.
I think they are important in our journey.
The Bible says "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
I also think that the word "night" isn't just ONE night, but during the "dark night of the soul" when tears become our closest friend.
When I walked through my deep depression in the late 90's. I came across a verse in the Bible that blessed me so much!
Yes, it is about tears!! It is this verse:
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
Isn't that verse amazing!!
Can you imagine - God collecting our tears in bottles!!
When I got my tattoo after we lost our grandson Jay Benjamin, the Scripture reference was from Revelation. The verse says this:
I love that one day,
God will wipe all the tears from our eyes - and there will be no more tears!!
That will be something.
However, until that day comes,
I will continue to talk with my Lord,
with moanings that the Holy Spirit intercedes with on my behalf,
and also through the language of tears!
And, if I happen to be praying with you, well, just pass the Kleenex when we are done!!