In this season of Remembrance, which includes All Souls and Armistice Day and in a year when we’ve been confronted by so much suffering so close to home, I wonder if it is actually any “easier” for us to cry – or whether crying (in public at least) is still seen by many as a sign of weakness? How might this this affect our feelings about crying privately – including crying in prayer? If we are to be true to our calling to praise God in all times and all places – this must surely mean sharing our tears with Him?
This week the church remembers the life of Margery Kempe – a fourteenth century mystic. She is known particularly for her spiritual tears – her crying and wailing were viewed with suspicion by many including those in the church. Questioned by the erudite Archbishop of York, who asked “Why do you weep so, woman”, the illiterate mystic replied “Sir, you shall wish some day that you had wept as sorely as I.”
Perhaps, like the then Archbishop of York, the rest of us need to lose our hang-up with tears. After all, as the shortest verse in the English translation of the bible reminds us; Jesus wept.
Listen to this week’s Start:Stop reflection above or read the text here.
Image : Weeping Woman, Pablo Picasso, 1937