By Richard S Willoughby
Sunday 14th December 2008
Today I had my first gut-wrenching cry since this odyssey of sickness began. It was deep and guttural. Once started, it washed over me in spasms. I ask God if I was doing anything wrong. I repented. I loathed my weaknesses and inconsistencies. I ask him why he had forsaken me. I knew full well he had not but I was confessing feelings not faith. I ask Him if what I was exhibiting was faith and if not he must show me, help me, teach me because if what I was doing, what I was saying, what I was thinking was not faith then I didn’t have a clue as to what faith was.
I asked a lot of questions. I received no answers. That was ok. I just really needed to tell Jesus how I was feeling as accurately as I could express it. I learned back when I was a teenager that Jesus appreciates honest feelings even when they are out of balance, off target, and even counter productive to his word. The first step to getting on track is to come clean. Then and only then can you get help. Pretending you are nobler than you are keeps it covered and God can’t heal anything that is hidden. If you are angry, troubled, faithless, disappointed, pessimistic, disillusioned, or even cynical He already knows. So why try to hide it. Just tell him. Confess. Admit to him that you know what you are feeling is wrong and you don’t like feeling that way but at the moment that’s just the way it is. Then after spilling your guts ask him to help you change and get it right.
Guess what? It always works. He always says to me, “That’s ok, I understand now let’s fix it.” In order to be filled with what is right you have to be emptied of what is wrong. So pour it out and then He’ll pour in some good stuff.
It is my experience that most of the questions don’t totally evaporate but the pounding preponderance of them subsides for a while. That seems to be what it’s all about. Not evading or escaping but making things manageable. He is a burden bearer, burden sharer not a total burden eliminator.
I’m not sure why I haven’t cried before. I was told one of the lesions lies in a portion of brain that effects emotions and creativity. Maybe it has affected my personality. Another possibility – I don’t know if the steroids have made me “dull”. A third possibility and a likely one, is that in the back of my mind I was afraid that if I started crying I’d lose control and wallow in self-pity and faithlessness.
In any case I had not cried. Yet suddenly, boom, it happened. It just burst upon me like the quarter size drops of a monsoon rain. It happened while reading a TJ website entry by one of our Sri Lankan saints. His heart touched my heart. I knew we were fighting a common battle and we were all in pain. A tear trickled. I gave in unto it.
All I can say is that a good cry is cleansing and even refreshing. Tears wash more than dirt from your eyes, they wash gunk from your soul.
Remember though, it has to be the right kind of cry. No matter how it starts, and it may start bad; you do not want it to end in a constant whining, pity me, life’s not fair, cry. Rather what you are going for is a multifaceted searching, yearning, exploring, imploring, beseeching to the ever good, ever noble, ever redeeming Jesus Christ. That I assure you is a profitable, productive, virtue-infusing cry. I definitely feel better.
Blessing to all those that are engaged in battle.