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Weeping as Spiritual Practice


Insights Blog, Church of the Resurrection

Psalm 30:5-12

What do you weep about? What does your church weep about? What prevents you from weeping? These questions were posed by Rev. Dr. Grace Imathiu, a powerful preacher and biblical scholar, at the Academy for Spiritual Formation I attended last week. It made me think about weeping as spiritual practice.

Broken-heartedness is at the center of human life and therefore weeping is at the center of spiritual life. Scripture, especially the Psalms, are full of weeping.

Many American Christians don’t think much of weeping. We want to get on with the business at hand, we want to DO something NOW. Weeping is viewed by many as a non-productive waste of time. We want to skip weeping and go straight to the “joy that comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Why? Why do we avoid weeping?

When we weep, we are utterly naked and real before God. When our hearts are broken by personal loss or by tragedies in the world, all pretense is gone and we know something true about ourselves, we know our own weakness. When our hearts are broken, we turn to the Source of Life, utterly dependent on God’s Life that binds up our broken hearts.

What do you weep about? What does your church weep about? What prevents you from weeping?

Sorrow and joy are inextricably tied. The Psalms make this plain and our own lives confirm it. Somehow, broken-heartedness and joy are woven together deep in our souls. It may be that only a broken heart can, through its broken-openness, give birth to joy. When we avoid weeping, we miss out on joy!

Maybe we need to be more willing to let our hearts be broken. Maybe weeping is the path into our weakness where we find joy, freedom, healing.

What do you weep about? What does your church weep about? What prevents you from weeping?

 

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