Monday, June 24, 2013

unexpected tears

there are years of tears.  
seasons in which a small act of kindness or a slight mishap could both open wide the floodgates.  
i've lived those years.
maybe you're living them right now.

today i watch the rain rush down my windowpanes and know that there are years like this day... 
when the fabric of life is so threadbare that the slightest movement causes it to burst at the seams...everything that was wrapped up inside comes pouring out.
for over a year now i have felt stitched up strong and tight.  i have felt rooted deep...the ground beneath my feet more terra firma and less shifting sand.  dark clouds have found another sky to dim.

but two nights ago i sobbed myself to sleep.
i'm not sure why.
i just rolled right over in the bed and what started as a slow drip had me convulsing within seconds.
i think i left my poor husband completely freaked out.

singular tears escape me all the time...running soft down my cheeks.  
moments move me.  
conversations touch me.  
experiences pierce my heart.

but weeping doesn't come easy.  the full-body, gasping-for-air kind of weeping.

jesus wept.
remember that?
he must have known that lazarus' life wasn't really over.  wasn't he aware that within moments he would command him back from the dead?  sorrow surrounded him but hope indwelled him...and still he wept.  

sometimes the first whimpers are for the sadness but the inconceivable hope that follows brings the downpour.

there is a line of a song that can bring the weeping every time if i really let it settle into my spirit.

what if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for.

it's a funny thing.  
those hard-fought seasons that find you shedding tears at every turn...they never leave you dry.  
that fertile soil spread deep inside your heart is beaten down by the heavy, relentless rains of your struggles and things get muddy.  then...amazingly...with just a tiny seed of hope the tender green evidence of something new breaks through.  and before long the fragrant blooms burst.
the easy years can leave you dried out.  the trees go without water and stop producing fruit.  you forget that something amazing could blossom inside of you.  
sometimes it's easier to lose hope in the easy years than the hard ones.

on a routine saturday night a twinge of sorrow broke something inside of me and the blinding light of hope came streaming through.  it so overwhelmed me that i could only weep in response. 
it hurt in the best kind of way.  
with eyes wide open i faced the complete inadequacy of myself and, in between sobs, i watched breathlessly as every fragile piece of my being was wrapped up in the strength and power and promise of the One who sends me out with joy and leads me forward in peace.

as i wiped my swollen eyes and struggled for air through my clogged nose i felt it happening...though i had been drenched in tears, something new was coming up inside of me.  the sadness had been watered by the hope-giving truth of His word...and so...
instead of a thorn, a myrtle.
instead of a brier, a cypress.

in time of silver rain
the earth
puts forth new life again,
green grasses grow
and flowers lift their heads,
and over all the plain the wonder spreads
  of life,
  of life,
  of life!
in time of silver rain
the butterflies
lift silken wings
to catch a rainbow cry,
and trees put forth
new leaves to sing
in joy beneath the sky
as down the roadway
passing boys and girls
go singing too,
in time of silver rain
  when spring
  and life
  are new.
{langston hughes}