Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AWPATT Teaser: Seeing A Woman Cry Breaks My Heart (Why?)

Oddly, nearly every image on Google Image Search was of a single tear running down a cheek. 'Could be a side effect of American culture discouraging open displays of anguish, contrary to other cultures (compare television reports of grieving mothers/fathers from the homeland with, say, the Middle East or India). The below image is a good example of what I'm referring to in the AWPATT thought below. Someone visibly disturbed.
355 The image of a crying woman breaks my heart. I think faces are designed to become unattractive when contorted in wailing. The disruption of a beautiful face into a reddened, convoluted mess of scowls, shut/bloodshot eyes and change from openness to withdrawal indicates in a very alarming manner that something is terribly wrong. It nevertheless attracts attention. I think that males, though we tend to break things, have a paradoxical inner desire to want to fix things. When someone’s crying, I want to stop it. Not because it’s annoying, but because it grieves me that I’m not in such distress and they are, and my mind races wondering how I might be able to help relieve the agony the person is experiencing. Can you share your own happiness? Can you unlock it in the other person? Cause a change of perspective that resolves the problem that triggered the crying? Can you give comfort that assuages a person’s emotions and makes them feel good? A crying woman, like few other things, makes a man feel hopeless and worthless, because he desperately wants her to be happy and fulfilled, but perceives that he is helpless to do anything about the issue. I don’t suppose that I or any other man thinks that we/I have some superhero power to solve strangers’ problems. Rather, I think it’s a collective sense of guilt over the fact that we can’t rescue you with a snap of our fingers that makes us feel rotten. From a Christian theological perspective, it’s very true that even if I didn’t directly cause your pain, I nevertheless bear guilt for the fact that the world is broken by sin and some aspect of this brokenness/fallenness is what caused you hurt. A partaker in the sins of Adam, the world is rotten and the world makes women cry, in part because I’m a sinner. So my emotional response to a crying woman is rooted in something true—I am at fault, even if in a very obscure, distant way. Thankfully, Christ bore my sins on the Cross, and gives me hope because I know that for all the brokenness in the world today, I’m destined to live with Him in a restored perfect world one day. If I could convey this contentment and hopefulness to a young woman in pain, it would give me such gratitude to have played a small part in lifting her up from where she’s fallen. If man is the glory of God, and Christ demonstrated the perfect man’s life when He walked the earth in the flesh, then isn’t it the truth that men are at the core, imbued with a God-given desire to be a hero? It might take a different form in every man, but at base we want to fix the world or save the world or save just one person from something bad in the world, and I believe this is placed in us for His glory. Why do crying women break my heart? Because they touch on two truths at once: I, as a man, and a sinner, am the reason for why they hurt; and I, as a man, in the image of God, am instilled with an unrelenting passion to want to rescue the weak and helpless. (lest you interpret this as sexist, it’s a temporary statement. Someone devastated by anguish is both in a weak and helpless state, whether man or woman). May I not try to “fix her problems” by human cleverness, but use the Gospel to extend to her the means of rescue by which I also was rescued. I can’t stop your tears, but God can.

~ Rak Chazak

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