I am a crier. I don't mean a little tear here and there, kind of a crier. I mean the kind that makes my children laugh at me in the movie theater. The kind that causes my husband to ask almost every Sunday in church if I
am okay. The kind that buys waterproof mascara in bulk. I mean this literally, I stock up. As I write, I can count five bright orange tubes of Cover Girl, waiting under my sink to repair my potentially tear stained face. As best as I can remember, I have been a crier for the most of my adult life. Even before I truly realized that life was hard, and people suffered in ways that I could not bear for them to suffer, I cried. I cried watching children's movies, I cried when I was proud of someone I loved, I cried when life was perfect and beautiful and beyond all that I could imagine. Tears flowed in sympathy, and in empathy; in pain, and in awe. Once,as a young mother I laid in bed next to my husband and wept at the realization that my children would grow up too fast, and then they would leave me. Yes, that was me, the consumate crier.
Tears are my Catharsis. They come to heal and cleanse my wounds,they come when I hear a story of deep triumph, and they come when I suddenly realize how utterly stunning and magnificent life, and the people I am priveleged to have in my life, can be. I believe in people, and despite the depth of my own errors, I believe in myself, and the great possibilities that lie inside of each one of us. I am a member of a family that has suffered great loss. I watch as my children,who lived through the death of their eldest brother and father, choose to live an amazing legacy to their loved ones adventurous spirt. Again and again, I hear the stories of amazing human beings that have broken free from their hindrances, their chains and defeats, and have pressed forward to be human examples of fearsome and wonderful design. I watch on, as a friend struggles with cancer, living each day with purpose and joy before her children, and I remember my own father in the last stages of his battle, sitting one by one with each my children, giving each a special gift, and establishing within them the legacy of knowing they are loved. I encounter women who have lived their lives in service to others stretching out a hand to say the future can be different, serving in meal lines, mentoring single mother's, and investing their own lives and funds in broken hearts and broken people, far and wide...and I let the tears roll.
Some weeks ago, I had the gift of witnessing one of my daughters participate in a Triathalon. The mere act of registering for the event made my knees weak on her behalf, but her embarkation into a new world of running, riding, and ocean swimming, for the greater purpose of funding a local children's hospital, lit a fire in my heart. The discipline and devotion with which she began her journey was remarkable, but not unlike the devotion that I had seen earlier in her older sister as she undertook a marathon, or even the perserverance of their sister, who once believing herself "not smart," learned that she could learn and began to believe in her own intelligence, completing her Bachelors with the honor of two scholorships. I tell you these things not to basque in pride at my offpsring, but rather to note that the brilliant, the tear-worthy surrounds us, but it is our acknowledgement of it's presence that can fill our hearts and souls with the quest for the great, and the wonder that can make each of us reach for to be the "more" that we long to be.
I am not afraid of my tears, nor frightened that in allowing myself to desire to be all that I was designed for that I will feel too much pain, or bear too much disappointment, perhaps exhausting my vast well of tears.
We each are made for a purpose, perhaps one of mine is to cheer the people in my life on, to tell them their lives are worth living, that they each have the possibility to make a difference. To cry with them, to cry for them, and to well up in joyful tears at their victories. To my children I must say thank you. Thank you for showing me how worthwhile each day can be, and that there are tears that are sweeter than any gift I could ever receive. I love you each...keep encouraging one another. You inspire me.
My daughter trained for her event with a team, and within that group of athletes she had a partner, both of them new to the tri event. When she
emerged from the ocean swim, her team mate had not yet hit the sand. She
stripped off her wetsuit, ran to her bike, prepped for the next leg of the journey, and then waited... I called to her not understanding her delay, and then she turned, saw her teammate, nodded her head, and they mounted their bikes. Later, she explained that each of them had a different strength, but they committed to see each other through to the end. To spur each other on, I say, to greatness. The greatest of which is lending each other a hand in the journey.
I am grateful. To see the awesome in the everday, and everyday, to see and meet people who are truly awesome. If tears roll from my eyes when I encounter them, it is because once again I have been given a gift, the privelege of being in the presence of those who inspire, love, care, and labor to leave a legacy, as well as the joy of knowing... I, also, am fearfully and wonderfully made, designed to inspire other's, and to wipe their tears. I know that full well!
Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”