An excerpt from an unpublished manuscript written by author Sheridan Hill. My Names A Prayer
I know that God sees all that is in me pettiness, jealousy, self-contempt, and pride, oh how the pride runs from God?s eye. There is nowhere for it to live when I can?t stop crying. Pride and tears are oppositional. There is no reason for these tears and there is every reason for them. The world is a suffering being. I feel it in my core, the suffering in the blood of all beings, and it becomes sickness in our bodies but if we could all just stop to feel, stop and cry, the tears would be sacred. They would heal us. Cry for me, the 15-year-old whose father was shot to death and left to fend for herself in the world of grief and pain, cry for the starving children in Afghanistan, cry for the woman in Bosnia whose back was broken by a dozen soldiers who then took turns raping her, cry for the son whose mother tortured him for years, cry for the husband whose wife took her life with a rope at their beautiful farm. Cry for the people who have forgotten God.
I have cried for four days now. I wake up crying and go to bed crying and praying that tomorrow my soul can rest, sleep in fits and awake crying again. I would do your crying for you if it would help you. I would spend the rest of my life with tears filling my lap, tears filling the room flowing out into the street. Whatever physical beauty I have would be lost in the puffiness and redness, a dark gash under each eye from the strain, and still I would cry. God, please help me with this pain. I know you have sent it to prepare me in ways I cannot understand. I am your servant. I can do nothing without you.
This is the way of the tears. There is so much grieving that has not been done! It is time to let grief in the door of our hearts, as difficult a visitor as she is. She comes like an uninvited relative, her weight sagging the doorstep, and yet we cannot turn her away.
They say that to the soul, grief and joy are the same thing: that a heart filled with grief is as beautiful to God as a heart filled with joy. Thank you God for this pain.