If I had to choose words to best describe myself, two of them would be emotional and sensitive. Yes, I do cry so often and so intensely that two adjectives are necessary. My mother tells me that when I was a little girl I used to cry myself to sleep for all the other little kids who didnt have food or toys like I did, and that spanking me was incredibly ineffective because the minute I did something that I knew was punishable I would weep at the thought of disappointing my parents. This kind of crying was not a phase, it is not something that has changed with my age. I used to hate this about myself. In high school it was humiliating that I would be the only student to cry with every war movie we watched in history class or want to read books a mile thick full of pages on the need for the sleepy, drowsy world to wake up. I remember the first time that my husband (fiance at the time) and I watched the movie “A Time to Kill”. I cried myself to sleep for two days and the poor guy had no idea how to handle my response. I had to try to explain to him that I was crying for the injustice, that it wasnt his fault. Similarly, while in Australia and discovering my identity in Christ and His heart for the nations, I caught a tiny fraction of how God’s heart ached for the victims of human trafficking. It wasnt the first time I had cried for this injustice, but this time it was a true, uncontrollable weeping session. My poor leaders tried to talk me through it, but I knew the only way was to allow God to weep through me. If I thought that was intense, I later found myself unable to get out of bed or carry on normal conversations for a number of days after seeing human trafficking at work in Thailand along side the poverty and hungry children. That was an absolute disaster for my poor heart. There have truly been too many instances of this to recall, the list just goes on and on.
This weeping for God’s heart hasn’t happened to me in a while (unless you count the times in pregnancy when every commercial about the food bank would send me in tears or how after I gave birth I would cry at every noise Xander would make, feeling humbled that God allowed me to have a child while so many women are barren), until this past weekend. As I type this entry I am multi-taking by doing laundry, dishes and packing up my family to go to Pittsburgh for ten days. Normally, we count down the days together like little kids,ecstatic to get away from our home and see Patrick’s parents, siblings and our nephews and niece. This time is different, this time we have a dual purpose. One is to say goodbye and to attend a family funeral for a life that has been taken far too soon, while the other is sharing our childs first Christmas with family. My heart has been heavy as I pack up our things for such juxtaposing events, ones that will not be easily forgotten. With the upcoming funeral I try to imagine what my mother in law must be thinking as she says goodbye to her little brother, so I text mine to remind him of my deep sibling love for him over and over. Or how Patricks grandmother will deal with out living her son, so I kiss Xander’s cheeks an obnoxious amount and stay awake to watch him sleep even with my eyes are growing heavy. I could handle the heart of God needing to weep over this life ending, I could take on that task. But then the tragedy of Friday hit…and I had little ability to take on that as well. God needs to weep for every child’s life taken unwillingly, for the child himself who took them. For every parent who is celebrating Christmas without their little one, for every person who survived and may have nightmares and trust issues for the days to come. The weeping of God’s heart hit me like a ton of bricks last night, and I could no longer sleep or compose myself. The stress of trying to ignore these burdens was to much, I could not carry it alone. I was tired of pretending that this is not a part of who I am, who God has created me to be. I weep along side of him, and its an honor to know his heart ache to such magnitude, even if He just shares a glimpse with me. I’ve come to realize that God does not desire me to go on in my life without recognizing heartache and running towards it, I need to be reminded that I cant hold myself together without His strength.
So I let the flood gates open. I cried out to God with words that no one could have understood… but He did.
“Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest”