Thursday, August 19, 2010

For crying out loud

I have this friend, whom I love dearly, who thinks he has a problem. He is worried about the fact that he cries too much. He was telling us about some people in his church who were going through a divorce... and he couldn't even talk about it without crying. He told how a young couple asked him to pray for their child in the hospital... and how he couldn't even pray because he broke down in tears. Stuff like that. So... he said he went to see a counselor, you know, because he cries so much. The counselor told him he didn't think there was anything wrong with him.

You know, I think the problem is not that my friend cries too much... but maybe that I cry too little. Not that I never do, but I rarely do in public. And it's not that I think everyone should cry those fake cries like when the preacher is trying to wrap up his sermon with an emotional appeal... But actually FEELING other people's pain...

I dunno... I wasn't going to write today, because I just don't feel like I have much to say right now. There is a lot going on in my head, and... well... I dunno.

One of the favorite stories I have ever read was in Donald Miller's book 'Blue Like Jazz' (p. 233):
A guy I know named Alan went around the country asking ministry leaders questions. He went to successful churches and asked the pastors what they were doing, why what they were doing was working. It sounded very boring except for one visit he made to a man named Bill Bright, the president of a big ministry. Alan said he was a big man, full of life, who listened without shifting his eyes. Alan asked a few questions. I don't know what they were, but as a final question he asked Dr. Bright what Jesus meant to him. Alan said Dr. Bright could not answer the question. He said Dr. Bright just started to cry. He sat there in his big chair behind his big desk and wept.

When Alan told that story I wondered what it was like to love Jesus that way. I wondered, quite honestly, if that Bill Bright guy was just nuts or if he really knew Jesus in a personal way, so well that he would cry at the very mention of His name. I knew then that I would like to know Jesus like that, with my heart, not just my head. I felt like that would be the key to something.

Yeah... the key to something. I love that story. I love that my friend's heart breaks so easily for others. I pray that I might love Jesus and others like those guys.