I have a personal policy against vulnerability, excessively close relationships and, most importantly, crying.
I believe that other people can (and probably should) cry in front of others but not me.
I’m not about that life.
I prefer to be strong. I prefer to have my act together. I prefer to not need people.
And, usually, this approach works for me.
Unfortunately, however, there are some crucial moments when my eyeballs develop a mind of their own and refuse to cooperate.
Last weekend was a prime example.
You know, “our God is greater, our God is stronger, etcetera etcetera…”
The lights went dim, everybody went quiet, and the general ambiance of the room was positive and meditative.
I was really starting to get into it when I noticed that my eyeballs were becoming moist.
Actually, if i’m going to be honest, my right eye already had a giant teardrop sitting indecisively on my bottom lid — not quite sure if it was going to go back into my head or fall down my face.
I decided that the better option would be to help this tear go back into my head.
I tried all my usual techniques: squinting, closing my eyes, batting my eyelids really fast, and staring at the ceiling.
Nothing was working.
So I got up and left.
As I walked out of the auditorium, I muttered to myself:
“God, I know you’re trying to do something here but you know what? I’m not going to let you”.
Saying these words out loud made me wonder if God would cripple my legs just to show me that He’s the boss and I’m not.
When I reached outside, I looked down.
Both legs were still intact and my eyes were completely dry. I was winning…or so I thought.
Less than 6 hours later, we were all back in that same auditorium and, again, two talented people took the stage and began to sing.
I would have left just like in the morning but Heidi had warned me that i wasn’t allowed to leave this time around.
This created a lot of internal conflict for me.
I wondered if I had reached the limit on the number of times that I could leave without God crippling me…or maybe sending a big yellow thunderbolt to teach me a lesson.
It didn’t seem worth the risk to find out so I stayed and did my best to tune out the music.
I was blissfully bathing in the glory of my ingenuity when a certain thought came to me.
To paraphrase, it was:
How can you say you want me to lead your life when you won’t even let me have control of your tear ducts?
The irony and clarity of this thought made me suspect that I wasn’t going to win this particular battle with my eyeballs.
Sure enough, my suspicion was quickly confirmed by the reluctant tears that were making their way down my face.
Here’s The Thing…
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the “deeper meaning” of this experience but the truth is, there isn’t one.
Apparently, it’s not enough to say how I feel about God, I also need to be okay with expressing those feelings regardless of who is looking.
Honestly? I don’t think I can do it.