Cry, Baby Cry

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  • It is possible to love someone, and watch them cry.
  • It is possible to love someone while being the reason they’re crying.
  • It is also possible to love someone & not do anything to stop them from crying.

By far, without a shadow of a doubt in my heart, those are the hardest and yet the most important lessons I’ve ever had to learn.

A lot of my anger/frustration/resentment/hurt with God over the past few years has stemmed from a place of “how can you just sit there & watch me cry?” I haven’t been able to reconcile an all-powerful loving father with this person who seemed content to watch his son cry & not intervene. Not even after I begged him to. I’ve never explicitly denied his existence, I’ve just acted like it. Like at this point, I’ve come too far in this relationship getting to know you to deny you exist, but if you seemingly won’t acknowledge me, then I won’t acknowledge you. I haven’t even been inside a church in over a year.

And then this year I slowly realized you can love someone and watch them cry. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t enjoy hearing them cry. The sound of a loved one in anguish isn’t music to your ears, but that doesn’t mean you’re not willing to just relax & watch it happen under certain circumstances. My point is, I’ve learned (painfully) that you can love someone while they’re crying, and not even try to offer comfort. There wasn’t a sudden epiphany, it was a growing realization over a few months. And as usual, it took a child to teach me this.

I’ve lived with my cousin for the past 18 months & in that time I’ve gotten really close to her youngest kid. He is simultaneously the light of my life and my biggest headache. We’re currently dealing with his terrible two’s phase, and I know first hand how exasperating it can be. Now I love that little boy, I do. But over the course of the last few months, I’ve realized that in spite of my love for him—scratch that, BECAUSE of my love for him—I’m perfectly content to watch him cry & do nothing. This could either be because I spanked him when he went near a hot stove & chuckled at my repeated shouts to get away, turned the TV off even though he wanted to stay up watching Tom & Jerry at 11 p.m., or forced him to share something he wanted all to himself with his siblings. In those moments where he’s letting me know just how loud his voice can get while snot & tears droop down his face in equal measure, my attitude is usually “he’s being silly, he’ll get tired of crying” although some times the Nigerian in me jumps out like “you BETTER stop crying before I really help you cry!” Now at some point, he’ll come to me still sobbing, say “I’m sorry” in a voice that’s breaking, and I’ll melt. That’s usually when I offer him comfort and do my best to stop the waterworks. I’m not quite there yet in my relationship with God, but I’m getting there. I think.

So once again, just to recap:

  1. If you’re constantly crying, you’re a kid.
  2. It is possible to love someone, and watch them cry.
  3. It is possible to love someone while being the reason they’re crying (I think the experts call this discipline).
  4. It is also possible to love someone & not do anything to stop them from crying.

Now I gotta find some other reason to be (stay) mad at God.

Happy New Year!

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