The ickies…
January 11, 2013, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Motivation, Poetry, Spirit, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , ,

January 11: “Forgive me for taking your loving care for granted. You provide for me in such loving ways and I am often too busy to notice. Thank You for the evidence of Your hand in my life. Amen.” 

Tuesday at Church group 93-year-old *Mary (name changed for privacy purposes*) puts her hand on my lap and tells the group about stepping out for fresh air in her backyard the other day.

“I just had to breakdown,” she said. “I just want to know that I’m doing all that I can do. That at the end of the road, when it’s my time, I will hear… well done, good and faithful servant.” 

She fills me in on her late-in-life struggle with shingles, of which the group has been sharing her journey. She talked about how she questions why God chose for her this challenge at such a fragile age. She had to pull her car over to the side of the road during another crying spell most recently, overwhelmed with the pain and the challenge of the diagnosis.

“This life is just so full of icky stuff,” she says in the most gentle way, as if her pain were just a dusting of cookie crumbs needing only to be brushed to the floor and forgotten.

I see the other women’s eyes welling up and then there I am, first time at group, feeling my own tears rising to the surface.

“You sat next to the easiest crier,” I tell her as I laugh, hoping it will decrease the spill-over about to come and help her to smile. “I think our tears are just God’s way of getting all the icky stuff out.” She laughs and we all dab at our eyes with the corner of our sleeves or tissues.

With so much icky in the world, are tears really an inappropriate response?

Crying is one of the most therapeutic tools we have to release, renew and recollect ourselves, but it also helps others to know they’re not alone and that another can empathize with their pain.


We are told day in and day out to be strong, to take courage, to do what it takes to succeed…  but if that means hiding our tears, hardening our hearts, forgetting what is sacred and pure and very important, I’m not sure I want any part of that.

Jesus wept. 


“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ” 

― Colette


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