Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tears: Tuesday's Reflection

Need a Hanky? 
When was the last time you cried or at least felt a tear or two gather in the corner of an eye and begin the slow, wet path down your cheek? 

I cried most recently in church last Sunday. Our guest preacher was Pastor Susan Peterson, the former senior pastor of our congregation. We weren't members of Gloria Dei when she was pastor, but she was there when one of my dearest friends, a member of Gloria Dei, was dying. Seeing Pastor Susan again after all those years brought those days and weeks to mind and heart. I miss my friend, and I often wonder which pew she sat in and wonder if I am sitting in her place.  

I shed a tear for her--not a planned or expected tear. 

When was the last time you were with someone who cried? I try to have a box of tissues available when I meet with a spiritual directee, for tears often flow during those intimate sessions.  Sometimes getting together with a friend whose life is in a tender and maybe even scary spot results in tears. Has that happened to you?

The tears are not planned or expected. 

My sister-in-law recently had a lumpectomy after months of chemo and seeing a picture of her with her two daughters right before surgery caused me to burst into tears. Tears of hope that all would be well for her. Tears of connection to my nieces whom I knew were worried about their mother. But also tears of recognition, remembering my own successful cancer surgery many years ago. I guess those feelings never quite disappear. 

The tears were not planned or expected. 

I am tired of the controversy about our president shedding a tear, showing emotion about so many violent gun deaths. He didn't sob or lose control or fall to his knees shaking in emotion. An unplanned and unexpected tear rolled down his cheek, and he needed a second or two to regain control over his voice. 

He is not the first leader to cry in public, and I hope he is not the last. The tear doesn't say anything about his ability to lead or make decisions. Instead, the tear says everything about his humanity.

Just as our own tears, unplanned, unexpected, are signals of our own humanity, our ability to feel. 

An Invitation
When did you last cry? I would love to know. 


  1. Nancy, I am having a very teary day. There was an explosion and fire at a home in my nephew's community and all four family members died, parents and two little girls. The youngest was at school with my two great-nieces. Their Facebook pictures looked just like Avery and Kelcey--kind of skinny, smiling, missing some teeth and wearing those little ballerina skirts. It breaks my heart and I'm sad for them, for our kids and for the young teachers (one of whom is also family and one the wife of a friend) who will need to help the kids through this. I wish I had been able to see our kids tonight. I hope I can see them soon.

  2. I can feel your heavy, sad heart, and I am so sorry. What can you do today to show your love and show your heart?

  3. I called after school and talked to them about fun stuff. Gavin said that the school has done a really good job and the girls seem okay. They were planning a rare weeknight post-dinner outing to Menchies--as he said--12 degrees and going out for frozen yogurt then home to read for 30 minutes then bed. I'm still sad but better after talking to them.I should call them more.

  4. What a good idea to call. For them and for you. Blessings.


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