Remember the “Coffee Talk” sketches on SNL when Mike Myers’ character would get verklempt? I loved how they poked fun at the kind of women who always seemed to me to be overly-emotional– like my mother who used to cry at every episode of “The Waltons”. See, that wasn’t me! Since childhood I have been a fairly guarded, private person who has tended to stuff my tears. There’s only one notable exception: I was able to cry freely when a role called for it in a play. In fact, for years when friends first saw me perform they’d say things like, “I knew you’d make me laugh, but I never thought you’d make me cry.” So imagine my surprise over the past few years to find myself getting weepy… First came the experience of sharing the depths of mourning (a topic for another day), and then came the tears of joy, wonder, awe, and gratitude! And yes, the tulip fields pictured above brought on my own personal water works!! 🙂
For those of you who have been following my blog this year, (THANK YOU, BTW!), you know that I have been exploring ABUNDANCE. “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full“~John 10:10. While this could certainly include the physical realm– wealth, health, status, and all the perks that go with that, I’ve been learning that it mostly pertains to our emotional and spiritual lives– lives now lived in freedom, peace, and with joy, no matter our earthly physical circumstances!
I’ve written about how we often choose to operate out of LACK, and how our fears and our desire to control what’s up ahead often cripples our understanding and appreciation of kingdom living in the here and now. In fact, the more I learn about fullness, the more I ache for the number of people who claim they practice Christianity, but who have missed the heart of it and are still trapped in a religious system. There is no abundance in a life where rules trump love.
Then, along the way it finally hit me: What if tears and an awakened emotional life are a part of abundant living too? When you can experience the awe of a newborn baby clutching your finger, when a sudden rain shower takes your breath away, and when you actually get choked up realizing that a barking dog has reminded you of how blessed you are to live in your neighborhood, you’re on the way to this full, rich life Jesus offers. Nothing is taken for granted or considered ordinary. 🙂
One caution however, for others out there who also might be exploring formerly stuffed emotions in the quest for living abundantly: weepy is not the same as whiny. The first signifies heart stirrings, opening oneself up to joy. The latter is about complaining and falling back under the misguided belief of being less than, or missing out on something. When we start feeling sorry for ourselves, or second-guessing ourselves, the enemy celebrates. Think about it; if we’re focused on weaknesses and mistakes, we’re choosing to live in problems of the past, instead of being fully present now.
May you all enjoy all that life offers, with both laughter AND tears!!