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En(courage)ment for hard times, seasons

cry babies, when life gets hard, and church-nursery worker epiphanies

I was working in the nursery today at church, taking care of the babies so I could get my baby fix, and I learned something.

We had a baby girl who was crying and she couldn’t stop. She was so unhappy. No matter what we did she was inconsolable. She just wanted her momma. We tried everything. Nothing worked.

She cried and cried and finally, we (the nursery workers) were all talking about calling her mother to come and get her. But one of the ladies said that this was only the second time she had ever been away from her mother and they had been trying to let her work out the separation anxiety so that her mother would be able to leave her with others and in the nursery.

Obviously, being just a baby, she was devastated by this arrangement. We all knew her mother was coming back to get her, but she wasn’t so sure. And so she cried. We finally just tried to make her comfortable and continued to offer whatever might catch her interest. When her mother came a few minutes later, at the end of church, the baby was so happy. It was as though nothing had happened. She had been inconsolable. Now she was blowing us kisses as she left.

I realized something.

We are kind of like babies too. Well, I am and maybe you are too.

Some parts of us never do grow up.

Sometimes the only thing to do is to cry.

Maybe the situation is never as bad as it seems to us with our limited understanding, and maybe our Father has such good things right around the corner for us. Maybe they are on their way. Maybe next time we will be stronger.

But maybe, right now, in this honest moment, it’s hard. And we don’t understand. And our hearts need expression. And there’s nothing anyone can do or say or give that will make much of a difference, because the one thing we want is gone, and it hurts. Maybe tears are part of the process of growth.

Thank God for the gift of tears. Somehow, they help.

Sometimes we need to let others cry too. Sometimes we do more harm by trying to suppress emotion. There is a release of toxins from the body with tears. There is a relief of tension and heartache. There is sometimes a mercy in having a good cry and letting it all out.

Like a good, cleansing rain. Like a catalyst for sunshine. For joy.

It’s nice to know you don’t have to hold it all in. It’s nice to be a person around whom others can just breathe and weep if they need to. Jesus was a man of many sorrows. He got it.

A church-nursery epiphany.

You’re allowed to cry. Allow others to cry.

Two simple things that help when life gets hard.

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