Monday, August 24, 2009

No Crying in Baseball

At some point in my life, I decided to believe the lie that crying is a sign of weakness. Who first taught me this, I don't know, but I do know that I have worshipped unashamedly at the altar of this falsehood for too many years.

Yesterday, like we've done for the past month, we visited a new church. I usually enter these churches with a vague mixture of apprehension, curiosity and skepticism, an unfortunate result of loving my home church too much to see the possibility in other places of worship. However, something different happened yesterday. I found myself with tears streaming down my face in the middle of one of the most well-performed live gospel songs I've ever experienced. If you asked me what the words were today, I couldn't tell you. But in the hymn leading up to the song that broke me, I began to feel that fearful, painful twinge of pain behind my eyes that means I'm going to have to try my hardest not to cry. For some reason, instead of giving in to suppressing it, I thought, "Well, God, I don't know why I'd be crying right now, but no one here knows me(the silver lining of church hunting yesterday, at least) so do what you will and we'll see what happens." Enter tears. Many of them.

For those of you who grew up in the late 80's and 90's, you've probably seen A League of Their Own, a movie that takes place during WWII when women had to keep professional baseball going in the absence of men. A quote that always stuck with me, and I'm sure with many others, is when frustrated coach Tom Hanks reprimands one of the players by saying "There's no crying in baseball!" For some reason, as I've struggled through the confusing world of what it means to be a woman, and a Christian woman with a mind at that, I've attributed strength to stoicism. I've reveled in my "T" diagnosis in the Myers-Briggs, proud that I can keep it together and somewhat judgmental of those around me who cry often. I've attributed any emotion to the negative side of femininity, wrongly, and let myself deny who I really am too many times.

So what happened yesterday? I don't know. I do know that it was good and right and very definitely from God. For one of the first times in my life, I felt no shame at my tears, even felt that they were cathartic, something God was using and may continue to use to open me up in new places to what He is doing. The exciting thing yesterday was that right after that tearful encounter with the Lord, I heard a sermon that literally penetrated my heart and mind to a point where I saw myself and God so clearly that I finally became excited about this sabbatical, about the total vulnerability that I'll need to have before Him and the ways in which He could be about to challenge things I have held as idols for a long time. Game on.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable, both here and with God. It's not easy to do. I was glad to hear how God met you at your point of vulnerability.