As I get older, I cry more. Certain things affect me differently than when I was a youth, and now I find my eyes watering away. I really appreciate the sentiment of one sweet lady in my church who said, “Well, I just can’t help it. When God’s squeezes my heart, my eyes leak.” Therefore, at funerals, weddings, and baptismal services; when men, women, and children come running to Christ for rescue; or when watching certain talent contests, athletic events, or heroic documentaries, more and more my lips quiver while my eyes well up with tears.
At least this week, I was not alone. News sources made much of the weeping John Boehner as he stood beside the Pope in Washington D.C. For almost four minutes the Pope spoke, and for most of this time Mr. Boehner fought back many tears while wiping away the ones that escaped from his eyes.
Now friends, I do not appreciate Mr. Boehner’s religious preference. Roman Catholicism has some serious flaws when one believes Scripture to be the rule of truth.
In addition, I do not appreciate Mr. Boehner’s politics. As one who is fairly far to the right in political matters, I wish he would stand more firmly for wisdom and righteousness as I see it. Lord willing, following his imminent resignation, he will be followed by a much more courageous leader who will occupy his chair.
However, I do appreciate the internal, spiritual passion of Mr. Boehner. He appears to be a man who loves his country, loves his religion, and loves his pope. And in a very manly way, he stands, serves, and sheds abundant tears for that which he loves.
Friends, I am so tired of stoic individuals who claim to inwardly love Christ but outwardly exemplify little passion. Oh, I do not expect everyone to think on Christ and respond by dancing like King David, bowing like Mary Magdalene, or crying like Representative Boehner. However, I would like to see some overflowing emotion every now and then, and I would really like the “chosen frozen” amongst us to leave people alone when worshipers’ emotions get the best of them.
We all do this when a child or grandchild enters our life. Incredible external passion is seen in the middle of a concert or at the conclusion of a football game. Couldn’t this also happen as the congregation sings, as the preacher proclaims, or as the dirty individual is publicly washed by the water of God? Clemson boasts of having the most exciting 25 seconds in football. The Kentucky Derbe boasts it has the most exciting two minutes in sports. What about us who are redeemed, regenerated, justified, adopted, filled, and secured in Christ? What about us who are sitting in the presence of God, singing of his grace, listening to his Word, hearing of his love, and eating at his table? Would not a tear, or a shout, or a hand held high be appropriate every now and then? I speak especially to you, my Reformed brothers and sisters. Must we be so Reformed, Regulated, and Cessationist that we throw out the baby with the bathwater — denouncing all forms of charismatic expression while rightly exposing and elimiating charismatic chaos?
Believers, let us not equate a lack of emotion with lot of holiness.
Let us not always equate a show of emotion with a shallow reverence.
Sometimes, those most affected by the “Spiritual Man” in their presence, find themselves with watering eyes, shaking voices, uplifted hands, and even a certain bounce in their step. Be happy for them and leave them alone, for who are you to mock the one whose heart is being squeezed by God.