“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.” – Lamentations 2:19
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Lamentations 1-2
Do you remember the scene in the movie A League of Their Own when Coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) yells at one of his players, Evelyn (Bitty Schram), for crying after she has made a bad throw? In this iconic scene, Coach Dugan shouts at Evelyn, “THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”
Many of us probably grew up with an understanding – perceived or taught – that crying shows weakness. I can still remember my dad saying to me as a kid that I was going to need to be tough when my grandmother died (she had been sick and we knew she did not have much longer to live). While my dad was not saying that I should bottle up all emotion, that was how I interpreted his plea for toughness. Crying was seen as weak, and I did not want to be weak.
But crying is an expression of an emotion that all of us feel at different times — sadness (or sorrow). In Lamentations, we read five different poems written by authors who are expressing sadness. Unlike Coach Dugan, the author of thesecond poem in chapter 2 encourages the washing of our eyes with tears as we lament the loss in our lives.
It’s OK to feel sad. It’s OK to grieve. It’s OK to cry. But when you cry, allow your tears to cleanse your soul and cry out loud to God who is always with us. As the author of Lamentations 2 reminds us, “Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord.”
This weekend in worship, we will be discussing more about Lamentations as we discuss how we can have hope in our sadness. Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship online beginning Sunday at 9 AM and on campus at 9:30 an 11:00!
P.S. Today is the first day of school for students who are returning to in-person classes in Franklin County Schools. We have had many volunteers praying for and serving our teachers, students, and parents this week. I am proud of this team of people who continue to show God’s love to all people. Will you pray today for all of the students, teachers, administrators, and support staff returning to school? Will you pray for the parents who are sending their kids back to school today – many of whom have wrestled with this decision in themidst of global health pandemic? Finally, will you pray for God to do amazing things throughout this school year?