Sunday, August 2, 2009

A good cleansing...

"Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning" Ps 30v5

Last night I "had" to go to the mall with my oldest daughter, Elizabeth. She "needed" a new shirt for her Fine Arts, Choir Competition in Florida this week. Sigh...
I was not so thrilled. I did it, but not with a smile.
I had a memory this morning: I was on the down escalator in the old Macy's in White Plains, NY. I was probably about 19 or 20 at the time. I saw mother and daughter pairs, one set after another on the upside of the escalator. I left the store, went to the car and cried. I cried like my heart was breaking, because it was. I never got to do that. I never got to go shopping with my mom at Macy's as a teen or a young woman. My mom was at home on life support. The best I could do was to bring home the goods and ask her what she thought about them. I was so jealous and I coveted those outings the girls I saw were having.
I never thought about the fact that I was breaking a commandment at the time. I think we never do.
But it was more than was the grief of a daughter who longed to spend time with her mom. I had forgotten how painful it was at times to "miss out" on simple things, like going to Macy's.
I appreciate my mall trip with my daughter a lot more this morning. How glorious that what I didn't get to do as a girl, I get to do now!

This past week my heart has been very tender towards my dad. I honestly did not understand the tears. I had to walk out of an Irish store that had a "Herself" towel hanging on a rack...he use to call me that from time to time.
I cried and cried and cried about a patient in ICU...could not go to care for him and my husband demanded I find someone to cover my shift. I honestly did not recognize the grief.
A dear friend pointed out to me that grief is an odd animal. We never know when it will poke it's head out. Another friend had this to say:
"Tears are not necessarily for pain. They can be cleansing and healing, too. You've shared several times and, I sense, you still carry some pain about your Dad -- his life, and his death. Sometimes, something touches our heart just so -- in a way that only God can orchestrate - and it bumps the bruises -- or open wounds -- in our hearts and the pain comes all back to us. Think about your toes. They get stubbed and bumped every day, several times a day (well, at least mine do). But we don't think about it. Until we injure it. Then every bump sends pain through our whole body. I know you said these are tears of pain - and I think that's a good thing. It tells me you're moving past the pain, into the healing. God is cleaning out the last of the grief, washing your heart of the pain of the past... Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Ps 30:5) Your morning is coming... It's time to wake up and walk in His joy as you never have before. "
I was told recently by a man at my old church who remembered my dad fondly about how grief caught him by surprise. He was driving on a country road and saw a little boy and his daddy fishing off a bridge. That sight brought back such a vivid memory of the man and his own dad that he had to pull over and have a good cry. His dad had been gone for well over twenty years.
The cry shocked him!
I didn't think much about it, until my own crying jag this past week.
I can praise God this morning for the good washing I have recieved. I pray my own tears bring healing for someone, touched by the odd animal of grief.

How about you?
Have you ever been taken off guard by tears of grief or pain? What got you to crying? Are you willing to believe that God allows moments (some longer than others) of great pain, to bring about a greater healing in your heart?

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, thank you for the gift of cleansing tears. Thank you for your promise that while weeping may come, joy follows in the morning! You know our hearts, the good the bad and the ugly. Wash away our bad and our ugly, so that we may left with a heart after Your own. Thank you for counsel from those who love us. In your name, Amen.

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