“I’m on a diet of tears— tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, pestering, ‘Where is this God of yours?’ These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life. I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd, right out in front, leading them all, eager to arrive and worship, shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!—Psalm 42:3-4 (The Message)
As tears stream down my face, I feel the saltiness of my tears as they trickle onto my lips. A saltiness that I cannot and will not escape in this broken world. Their saltiness is felt day and night as I listen to those voices asking, “Where is this God for whom you speak?” I want so desperately to walk them over to Jesus, to put their hands in the places where the nails were pierced so they too may believe. But then, how can I show them Jesus’ pierced hands and feet when I am not always sure I can see those marks myself? When I question where my God is?
But, in this broken world, doubt has this way of capturing us all in our own unbelief. Our own wells of tears run dry when it seems that evil and hatred have the last word. Too many people are being harassed. Too many are fighting for their own freedom in this world as they are crippled by fear. Too many are afraid to share their own stories of brokenness in this world. Too many are looking for God to come down and rend the heavens; to bring about God’s justice on earth. It is the cry of many –including myself–whose tears seem to have run dry in this broken messed up world filled with so much evil, hatred, death and destruction.
There are days that I desperately cry out to God with the very fiber of my being; crying visceral words that you wouldn’t catch me crying out at any other time. But these words–these visceral words are the only thing that seem to capture the depths of the pain, grief, and hopelessness that paralyzes me when life seems anything but fair; when we treat each other with anything but love and kindness.
I find myself standing before God, emptying out my own pockets; emptying them of all those things that I want God to take away in this world for myself and all the people of the world. As salty tears trickle down my face and upon my lips, I lay down before God a rock of anxiety asking God to grant peace to all of those who struggle daily with anxiety. Then I lay down before God a rock of love asking God to help us treat one another with love for ALL God’s people. I lay down a rock for mental illness. I lay down a rock for racism. I lay down a rock for sexuality. I continue to lay down rocks until there is an altar set before us; an altar that carries with it the weight of the world and I so desperately want God to tear it down so together we can sing and shout for joy as all of God’s children gather at the holy feast set before us.
For when we let our collective tears gather, in this broken world, will we once again be able to lead all into worship; with our hearts and songs lifted to God; proclaiming in this one who promises to never leave us or forsake us.