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I walked into the funeral home.  I saw her with her back to me.  She turned around.  We looked at each other and hugged.  She cried hard, I did too.  What can you say when someone loses a parent?  Not much.  What can you do?  Join them in their sadness.

The other night was one of many times recently that I was given the privilege of crying with someone.  I know that emotions take energy and opens up a vulnerable part of who we are.  I know that if we have held back a lot of our own pain that letting it out for others may cause our own pain to resurface.  I know that we worry that people might think that we are too sappy or emotional if we cry at all let alone with someone else.  I know that we don’t want to face pain and and that we’d rather pretend that it’s not there.

However, I know one thing more than any other.  It is a privilege to cry with someone.  It is an honor to be allowed to be real with someone who is open, honest and vulnerable.  It is humbling to be used by God to hold someone who He has put in your path.  It is so very right to simply be “there” physically and emotionally with someone who just needs to know that someone is out there…for them.

In the past few months I have had this opportunity a few other times.  On Christmas Eve as I walked into church I found out that the mother of a woman I know was in the ICU.  I was told that she was very upset.  Even though I don’t know her all that well I walked up to her and hugged her.  She grabbed on to me and cried, I cried too.  All I said was, “It’s your mom”  (as in, “man, that’s YOUR mom.  How sad.  It’s ok to be so sad.  You don’t have to be strong.”).  I didn’t know how close she was to her mom but your mom is your mom when it’s all said and done.  She held on and cried and I did the same.

Rachel and I get to work with a lot of couples.  Very often it’s for pre-marriage counseling.  Other times it’s with a group of couples who want to learn more about relational/emotional needs.  Once in awhile it’s for a couple that is on it’s last legs and about to separate or divorce.  We’ve also been blessed with working with couples who are ok, even good, but know that God calls us to have a “very good” marriage and they want to get there.  We were meeting with a couple like that not too long ago and going over some childhood hurts.  Teaching and watching them comfort and cry with one another as they shared their therapeutic  letters was beautiful.  As they shared some experiences from growing up, having some needs not met, it brought Rachel and me to tears.  As we comforted them, we teared with them.  It was so very real and healing.

I’ve been through a lot lately.  I’m sure I have a lot ahead of me as well.  I have been told that I/we have helped a lot of people through our “tough times.”  I am certain that those moments, the moments where I was able, allowed, and privileged to cry with someone, stand out by far the most.  They are what comes to mind when I think about doing something good for someone.

Imagine a world where we all did this.  Imagine where one didn’t have to be “ashamed” to cry.  What if we felt secure enough to be real and honest with our sorrow…and comfort.  Think of having someone to join you when you broke down.  Think of everyone being held up as they collapsed in sadness.  I long for our world to look like this.  I’m committed to making MY world look like this, as long as I have any input in or control of it.  It’s one of the very reasons why this website exists.  Thanks for reading and allowing it to be even be a small part of your week, and maybe a part of your life.


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