I just cried...

I don't cry much anymore. I used to cry alot early in ministry. Things would pierce me often. Beautiful things, tragic things. I would be moved to tears quite frequently.

But I don't feel tears running down my cheeks much anymore. I must be maturing. Yeah, that's it. I'm coming to terms with growing up and handling pressure with dignity and poise. I'm getting used to brokeness. I'm expecting disappointment, and thus, I'm not shocked when it comes around the bend. I'm anticipating let down these days. (I say these things with a bit of mourning in my heart.) I don't want this to happen. I don't like what's happened and happening inside me, but I'm not sure I can prevent it. But I mean to. (Can you sense the incongruence of my emotions?)

I walked into the coffee shop today and saw a couple that I have grown to love, Dave and Cynthia Beach. He is a counselor, she is a writer and a college professor. They were fixing to play some cards together. (They said that it was something they used to do when they first got married and whoever won got to pick the kiss of their choice from their partner....ummhmmm!) We started talking and it didn't take long for us to get to the heart of life and the life of the heart. As I shared some of the questions and aches of my heart as of late, they continued to probe and speak truth to falacies and fraudulent feelings.

As I shared something that was heavy on my heart regarding the universal church and her fragile state, I started to cry. Mind you, I was sitting on the wood floor at their feet with tears coming out of my eyes, lip quivering and nose running. I was caught off gaurd by the level of my emotions over the things I was witnessing in the worldwide institutional church. I think part of the pathos was related to my recent discovery (mid-life crisis) that I can't do very much to change its trajectory. Maybe a better way of saying it is that I am coming to realize how small I am and how big life is around me. I mourn the fact that my best efforts fall woefully short of what is needed to turn the tide. And on the other hand, I'm wrestling with the feeling of resignation over whether the tide needs to be turned at all seeing how fragile and futile my own heart is in the mix. Who am I to point fingers and grind axes and split hairs. I'm a little man. A little, little man. I've never felt littler to be honest. This could be a good spin-off of this whole mid-life crisis!

As I picked myself off the floor and hugged this couple, I realized that I was crying for the local church in the middle of this coffee shop. And I didn't care one bit. The tears spoke all the words that I muster at the moment. And it is those tears that I hope never to lose. The tears that give evidence of my beating heart for the kingdom and my vested interest in the church and her advancement.

"Zeal for his father's house consumes him." Psalm 69:9

If I lose those tears, that passion, that pure anger...I lose everything.

Comments

Susan said…
Blogs are funny little things..I came upon yours through Jody's at nitty.gritty but the funny thing is that I go to the church where Josh Buck last was youth pastoring at before Greenhouse. Hmm..small world!

Anyways, I have read your blog on occasion before but never commented. I felt compelled to do so today. I too, have been discouraged by "church" as of late. Feeling like its one big highschool of gossip and hurt and not a place where people are coming to meet with their Savior to worship and find sanctuary among the masses, to find that group of people who gets you and brings you closer to our God. It seems to have become more about numbers and who does what and who does not, about speculating about what people think instead of doing what Christ would have us do. My pulse is racing, my tears have come as well! Keep it up..I am sure you'll never know how much your meaning and doing for your people!

Sue Simpson
www.crazymatty.blogspot.com
The tears I have shed in recent months have been over people in ministry (not necessarily pastors) who have become or are in danger of becoming noisy gongs. I think it's God's way of confirming the direction of my own ministry.
I am reminded of something Bruce Wilkinson said in The Vision of the Leader. One of the ways you know your vision is from God is that you have a burden that does not go away, but in fact intensifies. I recall him telling of a period of days when he cried for the cause God was calling him to. Maybe we don't all cry for days, but when we've got a burden perhaps it's a view to a vision God is about to give us.
vortex
Teresa said…
Jason, I've been reading your blog for quite awhile now but I've never commented because I never got an account. But, I finally did.

Jason your heart is amazing, I'm thankful for your transparency and the way you've opened your heart in this blog!
mama2dibs said…
My husband usually gets frustrated at me when I want to "save the world". I always remind him about the story of the boy who was throwing starfish back in the sea. Someone laughed at him and told him to look at the beach, there were so many, he'd never be able to save them all. The boy just replied that he had made a difference in the one's that he did get to and kept on throwing them back.

I do have a sorrow in my heart for the state of the "church", but all I can do is respond to the few that God puts in my path. I have been learning so much about the Lord and His ways lately and He has been pushing me to witness to a few people in my life. I'm scared out of my mind (especially since one is my sister), but I know I have to trust God to help me say and do the right things. And...I might not change the world, but if two people change their hearts because of the work that God has done through me...wow! I will cry!

Keep up the good work Jason. You are a good man with a heart for the Lord. You have touched SO many lives. Jason, it's a butterfly effect. When you reached out to Roman, or any of the others at Calvary, you've touched how many more lives that you have never even met. Just remember that the lives you touch can be used to touch other lives which can be used to touch other lives and so on and so forth.
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