Sometimes it’s okay to cry.
Sometimes it’s okay to cry when it’s 10:26pm and you’re not going to make your 10:30 bedtime. Even when you thought tonight was going to be when you get it right again, get a good night’s sleep and establish your new wake-up time of 6:30am for reals this time, instead of throwing good intentions out the window when the cell phone buzzes obnoxious to alert you it’s time to get up, and hitting snooze seventy times seven.
Sometimes it’s okay to cry when you said you weren’t going to get on facebook again tonight, and you wake up your phone to see facebook still pulled up, so you scroll a bit. You scroll a bit and you stumble upon a post by your friend who said her order of a book just shipped, and she can’t wait to read it. But not just any book. A book about a girl you barely knew who died of cancer at sixteen. And now her words are spreading life through her death. How can it be? How can He bring such beauty out of such pain? I wish there could have been another way. I wish the Earls didn’t have to lose their daughter, sister. I hardly knew her. And I sit here at 10:31 and I don’t care about bedtime anymore. And I know it’s okay to cry. I know it’s okay to cry for the moms and dads who bury their babies. And for wishing there could have been another way. And gawking at the mystery and grace that somehow, He can bring beauty and life from death. Isn’t that what He did with the death of His Son? Didn’t Jesus die so I could live? And couldn’t I, like Ann Voskamp challenges, live like I don’t know when I will die because it could be six decades from now and it could be six hours? It doesn’t dull the sting, but I think that those who know that death is imminent get the gift of knowing life is all the sweeter while we have it, all the more precious. I could live like that, too. It wouldn’t have to take a diagnosis. To stop feeling sorry for myself for all the miniscule ways things haven’t gone like I’d hoped or expected. Isn’t it funny how I’m not ashamed of my self-pity until it’s put to shame by the suffering of others? I don’t want to be so blinded by my own suffering that I’m unaware of the suffering around me. I want to be willing to set mine aside to step into that of others and share it with them. There is suffering that is deep and real and Jesus promised us it. He also promised we wouldn’t be alone in it—because He is here. But He also shoves us in the direction of others, tells us to bear up each others’ burdens, because there is power and hope in community and fellow human beings coming alongside one another and sharing tears and pain. There is healing that can come from another set of eyes peering into yours and saying, “I see you. I see your hurt. You’re not alone.” In hugs and literal shoulders to sob on and shirts soaked with snot and salt shed from the eyes. And I burn for being a place of invitation for sufferers to come. To come and cry and I can’t promise answers, but I know the way to the One who has them. I can let you place your head in my lap while I stroke your hair, can offer you a cup of tea and rub your back while you breathe between the sobs, and give you a place to just let it out. Just let it out.
Literally. You can come stay with me. I have a futon.
Or figuratively. Tamaradoyle7@gmail.com. You can visit me there and share your story and I will read. And I will listen. And I won’t try to fix it for you. But I’ll tell you about who can. I know He can because He has, and He’s done it for me. I’ve crawled to heaven’s throne and climbed into my Father’s lap and cried those tears, wiped my snotty nose on the robe of the King, because the Creator and God of the Universe has invited me to do so. He invites you to do so, too. Can you imagine? Jesus stooping to earth and becoming dust to offer us dustlings a place at the throne of grace. We can go together, you and me. I’ll cry with you too and be another voice that tells Him how much it hurts and ask on your behalf that He heal you. That He give you grace and strength to walk through the suffering, see the beauty that can be brought out of even this. He doesn’t promise easy and He doesn’t promise we’ll get what we want, even if what we want seems like the noblest of desires—but He promises peace and His presence for each of His children.
Maybe you’re not one of them—yet, dare I say? Because I desperately want you to know Him, too. And I’d love nothing more than to point you to the One who can save your soul and set you free and soothe your heart in the midst of suffering.
It’s an hour past my bedtime. I’ve lost an hour of sleep, but thanks to a sixteen-year-old girl who didn’t want her story to stop speaking after she stopped living, I’ve gained a fresh dose of compassion and a burning desire to help hurting hearts. So if you’re hurting, come visit me? Here on Peaks Island, or over at my inbox? I want to see your face. I want to hear your voice. I want to step outside of myself and step into your hurt. I want to be reminded that suffering is so much larger than the smallness of mine, and I want to help you. We can go to the throne of grace in our time of need and find healing together.