On the way back [from collecting his dead son's body] I thought about tears. Our culture says that men must be strong and that the strength of a man in sorrow is to be seen in his tearless face. Tears are for women. Tears are signs of weakness and women are permitted to be weak. Of course it's better if they too are strong.
But why celebrate stoic tearlessness? Why insist on never outwarding the inward when that inward is bleeding? Does enduring while crying not require as much strength as never crying? Must we always mask our suffering? May we not sometimes allow people to see and enter it? I mean, may not men do this?
And why is it so important to act strong? I have been graced with the strength to endure. But I have been assaulted, and in the assault wounded, grievously wounded. Am I to pretend otherwise? Wounds are ugly, I know. They repel. But must they always be swathed?
I shall look at the world through tears. Perhaps I shall see things that dry-eyed I could not see. --Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son
Friday, February 26, 2010
(have i mentioned recently how God has been talking to me through books? maybe one or twice, here or here. well, i've much more to write about that--which i will no doubt write, don't worry--but for now, here's the latest word for which i'm so grateful.)