Monday, December 03, 2007

United States of Tears

Several days ago, Cassie and I watched "The United States of Leland," and something in that movie has been bugging me ever since. It's a decent movie, and it asks a lot of hard questions. It doesn't really provide answers, either. The main guy struggles with life, because of how much suffering and pain and bad feeling there is in it, and one thing he says in the movie just really bothered me. He talked about how people pray and it doesn't change anything and how people cry and it doesn't change anything. He was really despairing at the time, so maybe you can forgive the movie, but it never provides for the other option - namely, maybe prayer does do something. And what'd more interesting to me at this particular moment - maybe TEARS do change things. I think of how we perpetuate our bad feelings sometimes, how we build up anger or sorrow or pain inside of ourselves, and I remember those times that I've cried, I mean really cried, and reflecting on it now, I realize there is some strange healing power in tears. There is a mystical energy in weeping, one that Jesus understood well, one that the writers of the Hebrew scriptures knew well, from the Torah to Lamentations to the minor prophets. I don't think it's something we need to be about all the time, but I truly believe that if we were free to listen to those weeping urges, maybe we'd be a lot more happy.

I don't really know what exactly I think about all that. I don't always feel the need to cry, but when I do, it just seems like a real shame to hold it all back. It just seems like maybe it's our bodies' way of getting rid of all those bad feelings inside. And sometime we build up so much of it, we just have to let it out. I remember when I watched "The Passion of the Christ," I sat through the whole thing, just taking it all in, every ounce of suffering, every bit of pain and sorrow. Afterwards, I went into my car and I bawled my eyes out for five minutes before I could leave the parking lot. Mostly, I remember how good that felt. I don't know why we feel so ashamed of our tears. Maybe it's right that we are, maybe it's supposed to be intimate, private, personal. I just think it is really sad that anyone could think that tears don't help.

I'm writing a new story. I've only told Cassie about it so far, but I nearly believe that it's an inspired idea. I plan on bringing in this bit about tears as part of the story. I've only written four pages of it, but I'm already excited. I'm praying for God's guidance bigtime on this one, because I really believe in it. Anyway, those are my thoughts this late evening. Time to go to bed.

1 comment:

Susanna Metzger said...

Mmmm. Very good thoughts. Glad to see you posting again!