Updated: Feb 15
Hey there, Kingdom Warrior!
I love that I get to introduce you today to author S.A. Morrison. Sarah wrote the book With Those Who Weep: A Theology of Tears, and I think the concepts she reveals in it are perfect for our audience! You guys know that I don’t think most of us in the U.S. have a proper relationship with expressing our grief and lament, but this episode is about that and so much more. Tears express meaning. It’s like they’re the physical overflow of what’s going on inside. Whether that’s grief at the world being broken and unredeemed or whether it’s a physical release of hormonal chemicals that have built up inside you, tears show us that something matters to us.
So I bet you’re wondering what kind of person writes a book about tears. Well, S.A. Morrison admits that she can be a weepy person at times, but she’s not ashamed of it. Once you hear her story, you’ll realize that her tears were more than justified, and you might even be convinced that the pain in your life might merit some more tears than you’ve given it.
Sarah endured an intensely difficult season of church planting, and she also endured a high-risk pregnancy where her daughter’s placenta wasn’t attached properly. If that wasn’t stressful enough, her daughter was born healthy but ended up having a big bout with jaundice, all while enduring the events of 2020. Sarah said after fearing for her baby’s health with Covid just surfacing around the time her daughter was born, she ended up feeling like her baby was safe from a pandemic, but not from her own liver. Add in some postpartum hormone drop offs (of which I am all too familiar with right now), and Sarah had some serious tears as companions through this season of her life.
But what was even more interesting is that her baby daughter was so sick that she couldn’t cry. For a baby, not being able to cry can have devastating effects. Crying is their only way of communicating with their caregivers, so she could not communicate her needs. Thankfully, Sarah’s daughter is doing well now, but I think there’s a metaphor in there for all of us: we don’t need to cry as much as babies (since we have words and all), but I think a fair bit of us could use the God-made release tool of tears a little more frequently without being ashamed of it.
I have been thinking about the wisdom Sarah shares in this episode a lot lately since I’ve been struggling with the hormonal swings of the postpartum season. Her truths have helped me have more grace for myself and even think about how crying can be a spiritual discipline in seasons of suffering in my life. I believe you will mine some nuggets of golden wisdom in this episode today! Head on over to Apple Music or wherever you listen to your podcasts and take a listen!
Listen to learn more about:
· Why tears are important and how they give meaning to things that matter in our lives.
· How tears can be a spiritual discipline and a catharsis that draws us closer to our Savior.
· How embracing our tears and our pain in this earth enable us to more fully embrace our joy in the coming and present Kingdom.
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Goodness, there’s just so many good ones in here, you guys! Feast your mind on these:
· “When we bypass our tears with “truth,” we bypass the comfort of Christ.” --With Those Who Weep
· “Tears are not juxtaposed to hope. They are friends. Crying is not a wedge between the Lord and me. Crying is the companion of an indescribable hope. A hope that sees the Lord. A hope that looks for his work and way.” -With Those Who Weep
· “To the Father, they express and acknowledge that things are not as they should be. To the Son, they reveal that we are alike and remind us of the flesh he took on in every way. To the Spirit, tears express our great need for a counselor, guide, and comforter; we need him to carry our tears as prayers.” -With Those Who Weep
“Forming a discipline of tears spiritually fortifies us when sorrows multiply.” -With Those Who Weep
· “Christ will bind up our ducts for good. This is a loud and apparent hope in our tears: they matter, but they will not last forevermore. They serve us today, but they will be useless in eternity. This is yet another tension of which we learn to balance—our weeping is for today and not for tomorrow.” -With Those Who Weep
· “The most colloquial term for it would be catharsis, this idea of releasing, of letting go. When I think tears serve us, too, is embodied physical representation of something that has happened and something that mattered. Because we don’t cry over things that don’t matter. Even you (talking to Tera) saying that it felt like something you shouldn’t have cried about or felt sad about – that did matter. It’s the same way that when my daughter cries because her toy is broken or because it’s raining outside and we can’t go to the playground, I can look at that and say, ‘That’s just a silly reason to cry.’ But for her, that is her world, and it matters.” -Heal Podcast Episode 113
Links from our conversation:
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