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Prayer and reflections

As churches are no longer able to meet together in buildings, we want to encourage and help people to pray, both within our own churches and in the wider community.   This section provides many ideas that could be used to lead people to prayer, both personally and corporately. 
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In Tears (Confessions of a Weeper)

A reflective lament written by hospital chaplain Amanda Pink.

'As a self-confessed weeper, there have been many times over the years when I have had to explain to concerned witnesses that they mustn't worry - that my tears were not evidence of the beginning of a break-down but often the very opposite - a needed release of tension, the beginning of a healing, a turning point. For one reason and another, tears that once flowed freely had been rather absent from my life of late. Recently however, they visited again, and I was reminded of their power...' 

The pressure has been building for a while now,
and finally a last straw causes the dam to break:
a thoughtless word...or a perceptive, kind one;
a problem whose solution seems beyond me;
witnessing the suffering of another;
something sad on TV that rings true.

The first droplet forms, and drops.
Perhaps only a few will follow, in silent release of that which is within. 
Or many more may come, in torrents, with heavy, heaving sobs, full of anguish,
leaving my nose red and face sore, my head foggy and fragile, 
and my body a tired, empty shell. 

We're well acquainted, these tears and I;
From the day of my birth they have given expression 
to my neediness, my frustrations, my joys, my disappointments,
and much more. 
Lately though, a vague notion that 
crying isn't for grown-ups/professionals/the British
has encouraged me to pursue 'holding it together'
over letting them fall. 

Even so, eventually and inevitably they come,
and when they do, I remember that strangely, these tears are a gift. 
Like the make-up that they wash away,
they strip back the protective layers of that 'brave face' 
that I have been putting on to the world and myself,
obliging me to remember who I really am:
Resilient in my fragility.

But it is not just myself with whom I am reacquainted in this moment,
for my tears cause me to reach out to another -
One who draws near to the broken hearted, 
who hears the cries of His people, 
who comforts those that mourn. 
As He answers my call, I remember again:
He chose the path of vulnerability, 
was fragile even to death, 
yet was resilient beyond it.
And He, too, was One who wept.

This is my weeper's confession:
God is to be found in tears.

This reflective lament was first published on Amanda's blog and is reproduced here with her permission.

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