– Today’s blog is from the book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life, One Word at a Time. Pick up your copy on Amazon or Here.
A friend or family member has departed—to war, to work, to sickness, to death, to a choice of leaving, to seek happiness in various ways. Or, a friend or family member has departed mentally while still living nearby—they work hard but never engage in conversations, care, compassion.
We can care. We can cry. We can invest time by interrupting our own addictive behavior and routines. We can enter the stories of others and offer a few minutes, a few meals, a few words.
They are crying. Are we noticing?
God is caring. Are we?
I am reminded that we are asked to have a broken and contrite spirit. So often I pray to find my own sense of peace and momentary happiness. Instead of selfishly praying this way I need to begin praying to be broken for those that are hurting. I know that Jesus wept and felt, and cried. He hurt. Perhaps. He wants us to do the same.
I have a Grandpa who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. While he still remembers my name and vague details, its hard for him to make the connections and carry on focused conversation, especially since I don’t get to see him much while I am overseas. For his birthday I wrote him an email, listing all my favorite memories of him and asked my grandma to read it to him. Recently she told me that she reads it to him often, has printed it out, and is considering getting it framed, and that He gets emotional when hearing it. This really resonated with me, because it showed me how important my words are to others. It isn’t a testament to my writing or anything like that, its a testament to the fact that we all need care, and all have the capacity to care for others.
Some people think it is bad to cry but I feel like crying is a way of healing. Sometimes we just need to cry and it helps heal the hurt we have inside of us; to help us feel better than just trying to hold it in.
The words we say might be exactly what somebody needs to hear at a crucial crossroads in their life’s journey. Jesus walked the earth with an awareness of hurting hearts and helped them turn their lives around. Are we actively listening and looking for those opportunities??? God is teaching me it is vitally important to walk with an awareness for the hurting as He did. If Jesus can work through me by just simply offering a few, life-giving words, how can I not obey? But so often, I neglect to speak life because I am too focused on my own. Listen and Look for opportunities to speak life into someone else…it may change their whole outlook on what God is doing in their life.
I believe often times we as people don’t notice when others cry but, we want to be noticed when we cry. I think often times we get caught up in the business of life that we fail to acknowledge when others are hurting. I know this happens to me at times. I need to quit looking in the mirror as much and look through the window of people who are hurting and show them how much God cares through my actions.
When I read this, I was instantly reminded of my grandfather, who passed away my junior year of high school. He suffered from dementia, which shortly turned into Alzheimer’s. I will never forget the day that he forgot my name. It brought me to tears for a very long time. The tears I cried at that moment were tears of brokenness.
Even though it’s not a fun thing to do, it’s good to cry. It doesn’t mean that we are weak, it means that we are human.
It seems that there have been more times recently when I have been the one crying. I have needed someone to be there, but I was too afraid to ask for help. My short-term memory goes out the window and I forget that I am in the midst of pain from people leaving and new people coming, and I try to help others. It seems that every week, I have a different group of close friends, due to all the changes that college stress brings. I am the one crying, but on the inside.
I find that crying happens for me when I truly care about someone. It can be a thankful, happy cry, or sometimes it is a sad cry. Nevertheless, crying can help me display vulnerability to God and encourages me to ask Him to help me or comfort me.
This has become reality to me in the last few weeks. My grandpa is dying form multiple types of cancer. I have never experienced death before..I guess I’m blessed to say that I’m a 20 year old who has never dealt with the death of a loved one, but it’s difficult regardless. At this time, I want to be so selfish, but I’m really learning how to be there for my grandpa and the others in his life who need a light.
Are we caring? That is the question for us to all ponder on and answer honestly. My words say yes, but my actions say no. Why is that? I say I care and yet do nothing to back that up. Let it be known that I do care. I do care if you’re hurting and crying; if your pain causes tears; if your burdens cause grief. Now it is time to back up those words with actions.
There have been few times in my life where I have cried and those were tears of pain. Most of the tears that I have shed have been happy tears and I’m blessed that the happy tears have greatly outweighed the sad ones. I don’t think many people could say so for themselves. However the sad tears were probably some of the toughest times my family and I have been through. Whether it was the passing of a loved one, a mishap, or a heartbreak, the pain was almost the same. For the tears of joy, they each meant something so great and the feeling of joy and being able to share those tears with the ones I love, for me, meant more to me than anything even the painful tears.
I feel like the world is crying. Not all show it. Most hide it. We all are reaching out for care from someone. Many of us act as if we aren’t but we really want it. We need it. What a selfish people we are. Expecting everyone to hand us a tissue when we weep but not offering the same to a world that weeps every day. My prayer is that we would give what we have been given. The blessing of comfort isn’t ours to keep.
This reminds me that i need to get out of myself more often. There are people in much worse circumstances, who have gone through more difficult things than me. They are hurting and in need of love, and i can give it to them. We are called to humble ourselves and serve others, like Jesus. We are given a spirit of compassion and love for those hurting so that we may do something about it.
I feel like I have already cried more this year than I have in previous years. I think it comes with realizing that “having it all together” is just an illusion that we tell ourselves we have to achieve. There is strength in crying. God didn’t give us this ability to cry for no reason. The more we choose not to ignore our own emotions, the more we are able to acknowledge the emotions – the hurts – of others.
I’m not a crier. That’s for sure. However, I know that crying is necessary and healthy. I can see how I have changed and began caring more since being in college and crying has been one of those changes. It’s so easy to walk around and have a selfish attitude, but to be able to let your guard down and cry with someone has a power to break walls. You can’t help but care after an encounter like that.
Brokenness is everywhere. It seems like every time I look on social media, watch TV, or even just have a conversation, suffering is mentioned. I know that I so easily become desensitized to the pain around because it seems overwhelming. It’s easy to feel helpless and that there’s isn’t much I can do to help, but sometimes a listening ear, a couple sentences of encouragement, or reminding someone how much they are loved is the most powerful way to help. May I open my eyes and take time to recognize those opportunities.
Its so easy to get caught up in our own little world and only focus on things of ourselves. I am guilty of that. Hayley this Hayley that. Crying over stupid things, selfish things. Forgetting that its not always about me. Until something smacks me in the face. Brings me back to reality. Opens my eyes to those hurting. Those who are crying. Those who are broken. How can I help? Share a smile? Share a word? A hug? Or maybe even cry with them? I think that when you can just be with someone and cry with someone, that is when you really become close with that person. Shed a tear with a friend, a loved one, a stranger.
I have often found that there is so much beauty in brokenness. Many times we have this mindset that crying shows weakness and it doesn’t. I am reminded of when my Grandmother passed away and instead of feeling the pain and hurt I shut it off and went on about my life. It wasn’t until last semester that I realized it was okay to still be sad and that was a way of healing. So…cry, laugh, listen, and learn that it’s okay.
This past weekend, I experienced tears of joy and happiness. While leading worship, I saw a young man at the altar being prayed for and for some reason, it brought tears to my eyes. I was able to connect with that guy for a reason unknown to myself. I tried to find him at the end of service, but he had already left. What made me cry was the beautiful reality of someone being freed of the chains and bondage of sin and for them to get to experience new life and freedom in Jesus. Getting to see that with your own eyes is something very special.
when i read this blog my mind instantly goes back to my spring break trip to California and las vegas. We stopped off in Dallas Texas on the way through to eat a small burger joint that i had eaten at before. Though the burger was literally the best burger I’ve ever had and even though our conversations at the dinner table were entertaining at the time, the thing that sticks out to me the most as i look back on this experience are the many homeless people right outside. I’ve been to columbia SC, Atlanta GA, and Los Angeles CA, and the most homeless people I’ve ever seen was in Dallas Texas. Every 50 feet it seemed i was approached by someone asking for a helping hand and it really hit home to me. The guys i was with didn’t seem to notice or care but it really had at impact on me.
“Tears are a sign you’ve been too strong too long.” I’ll never forget the words my high school English teacher said as she let me fall apart before her my senior year. I grew up in whole where tears were a sign of weakness. I’m learning that’s not the case. This semester has been marked with countless tears brought on by physical pain, loss, memories, trauma, heartache, and depression, but also joy, grace, love, and forgiveness. I’m learning that it takes strength to cry.