Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Week IV - Day 3 - My Cup of Tears

This painting is called, "Cup of Tears".
I'm not sure why fish are coming from...?
The advantage of me writing is that I notice words more than if I am simply reading. It wasn't until I typed the title for today's reading that I realized it is not "The" Cup today.  It is "My" Cup of Tears. Getting down and personal today.

Reading this morning, Joyce is helping me remove one more layer of my defenses.  She is challenging me to become more honest, not only with God, but with myself.  I have journaled about that in an earlier post, but today it is a challenge while I reflect on "My" Cup...

Searching for images, I found a quote by Laurel Burch, "The soul would have no rainbows if the eyes had no tears."

Another way of saying that Joy and Sorrow are sisters who live in the same house.  Holding the two, acknowledging that I will have BOTH and learning to move within them is one thing. Today...I can see how I might develop a stoic face which in my book is about the same as "When life gives me lemons..."

I've done this stoicism. After my last car accident people were amazed by how well I was doing.  It wasn't until over a year later that I had a complete emotional and spiritual breakdown.  I had stepped forward and had used my gift of humor...BUT I HAD NOT been honest with God or myself about how very angry and frightened I had been the entire time.
"...not being honest with God about my situation only added to my anger and hostility...I do not believe that God sends suffering. Suffering happens because of our human condition and because of the way that transformation occurs with its natural cycle of life-death-life. Still, this reality does not take away my human emotional response when pain is intensely penetrating nor does it cease my hope that God will somehow choose a miracle on my behalf." (Joyce Rupp, The Cup of Life, p 96)
Being allow healing.
Oh I could have used these words eleven years ago.  Since then, I have been angry with God and I have let him know I was angry...BUT (that is two BUTs) I did not end my lament by expressing my confidence and hope in God, trusting that all would eventually be well.
"The prayer style of the psalms assures me of how good it is to be honest with myself, as well as with God, and to count on God's healing presence to eventually bring me peace of mind and heart." (Rupp, p 97)
Joyce tells me (reminds me) that God gathers my pain and my struggle and hold it...and me, compassionately.  God hold my tears and me, until I can find my inner peace again.

Hold me in your love.
    Breathing in: Hold me...
    Breathing your love.

Hold the cup upright in your hands.
Look upon it as a cup that holds tears.
Let the cup represent your own pain and tears or the pain and tears of someone you know.
Envision God's hands around your hands as you hold the cup of tears.
Allow this Compassionate Presence to give comfort to you or to another who is in pain.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rv. 7:17)
I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them. (Jer 31:13)

Draw the cup of your tears, with teardrops falling into the cup. On the teardrops, write words that tell of your pain.

How have you experienced God when you have been deep into the tough things of life?

Comforting One...

Words I would write on my tears... Loneliness, Discouragement, Grief, Loss, 
Disappointment, Tiredness, Frustration, Overwhelm, Fear, Family, Friends, Church, Pain, Betrayal...I am beginning to acknowledge, "know" in my heart that God has held each tear...waiting for me to be opened to healing.

I have experienced God through the hands and voice of others.  Some hands have held me while I cried, others have wiped tears away and encouraged me to stand one more time.  Hands have written notes or sent cards, with "just the right message".  Hands have created things for me to hold that have brought comfort or laughter.

Voices have talked to me over phone lines, when I was in the deep hole of despair. Voices within my dreams have offered me love and challenges.  Voices have encouraged and given acceptance.
My Riley 2/98 - 1/11.

Some might think this sacrilegious, but I have experienced God in the eyes of my beloved Riley.  I experienced God's comfort when I buried my face in his neck...and cried. Like God, Riley loved me unconditionally and was always happy to see me.

I have experienced God and received his peace through a thunder storm and through the steady sound of the ocean.  When all I could sense was darkness, a song of a cardinal would break through and create an opening for light.

Through all these, and more, I have experienced God.  God has worked through them to help "tilt" my world back toward center.  I have prayed for miracles, and when  I have been open, I have received the miracle I most needed.

Natalie Grant has a great song that speaks to all of this.  For now, Dad needs me to program a new phone system for him.  Why he is calling me...I have NO IDEA! Still, it is an opportunity to experience God's grace through two people who love me...unconditionally.
Today, when I use a cup or a glass, I will think more about how God catches the tears of those who hurt, and then holds them with care.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

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