If you knew me well, or know my history, you would be aware that weeping (or any tears for that matter) does not come easy for me. I have a sweet friend who is fond of telling me, "you need to cry more!... or you need a good cry!". She has been saying this to me for the last 10 years at least! And, she has been right. In the past, my husband has jokingly asked if he should just consistently yell at me or be unkind in order to get the tears flowing. Just to be clear, he hasn't actually tried this suggestion (for which I am grateful ;). But, it makes my point!
Tears have not come easy for me in my adult life. I don't have memory of them coming often as a child, or a pre-teen... I am assured by my father that I did in fact cry as a child. ...and he describes me, in my childhood, as a "sensitive child". For whatever reason, as a growing woman in my home, this was discouraged and diminished. I have few memories of crying in my late teens. It seemed that I received the message that crying was not a good thing somewhere along the line. And, when I entered the church at the tender age of 15, the message of "no tears" was most definitely (and unfortunately) reinforced. Verbally, or more often non-verbally, other Christians were markedly uncomfortable with strong emotion and tears... it was a weakness, maybe lacking faith. I can't really articulate the "message" I received exactly. But, the tears distinctly stopped when I crossed the threshold of the church.
I can note occasions in my life where tears flowed... very marked occasions. And, through the years, there have been some significant healing moments where tears began and blessing flowed as I wept some pent up, or even ripe, emotions. In fact, I would say that the more health and wholeness defines me, the more I have been released and my soul (and eyes!) had cried.
But, all said, I don't (or haven't) cried much... regardless of the pain... in the past 20 years. I have wept very few tears. Until now.
I seem to cry a lot these days. I wept again yesterday and it was deeply spiritual and without a doubt from my Father. Is it possible that instead of speaking in tongues, I have been given the "gift of tears"? I don't know. But, what I do know is that yesterday as I walked the fields near my house, I wept... I cried uncontrollably and those tears were prayer in and of themselves.
It is berry season here and the hedge rows that separate field from field are full and fat with deeply purple berries. They really are a beauty to look at and amazing to eat! So, yesterday, I walked and picked and ate... and prayed. As my hand reached out to pick the 4th or 5th berry, I burst into tears! Taking it to my mouth, I plopped it in and began to cry and cry and cry... The only words I can express or use to describe what filled my heart was a weeping for the nations, for the lost. I wept and ate and picked and prayed... and wept as I walked along. (Luckily this portion of my journey was a lonely one, not a soul around but me and my dog!)
Some of the berries, picked and eaten had "names" attached... those I love in my family that don't know the deep, deep love of Jesus. Some of the berries were picked with a someone in mind and wept over. Some of those berries had no name... they were a nation, a people, a lost and hungry soul in deep need of God's love.
I picked... and ate... and prayed and cried... asking God to harvest His children, to pluck them out of darkness, and to enjoy His kids as I enjoyed these berries. Harvest, I wept! Your harvest, I cried. Bring in Your harvest, Lord Jesus... they belong to you.
It was glorious and freeing... and sweet... and painful... and confusing... and glorious.
So, I walked yesterday another short jaunt on this journey of tears. And, I say to my Father today... I will be used by You however You want! Cry through me. Weep with my tears! I give myself to You completely without holding anything back! Please keep teaching me to pray.