Last week, I was crying my eyes out in the bathroom at school. Leaning against the stall door, my scarf held up to muffle my grief, I watched as wet drops landed in speckles on the linoleum.
There are times when it feels as if I have just been informed. Like someone flips a switch and illumines all the things I know to be true but am afraid of. What my brain understood finally caught up to my heart. And my heart was mourning.
But this isn’t a post about why I cried. It isn’t about what prompted my distress. It’s about what happened while I was in there. Without intending to, I found myself repeating this verse– a prayer I didn’t realize I knew:
“I pour out my complaint before You; I show before You my trouble.”
I’ve heard this verse many times. In the Orthodox Church, services are made up of scripture. Verses are repeated every week. They get inside you– even if you never knew they were there. And sometimes, when you need them, they come rumbling out. Maybe in a whisper, maybe in a scream but there they are.
And here’s a confession: I realized in this moment that I hadn’t prayed in a very long time. Not for myself, not for my son, not for Greg, not for anything. Between the business of being Mommy, the laundry, the social events, I just hadn’t made time. I missed opportunities. And yet in my weakness, when I really needed connection, there it was– pouring out of me over and over again:
Sometimes we miss opportunities. Sometimes church feels like a chore. Sometimes all we can do is pour out our complaints before Him. But even our complaints are accepted. Even our troubles will be embraced.
Tomorrow is Pascha– Easter for Orthodox Christians. It’s a time to celebrate sacrifice, love, life, and the conquering of death. It’s a time of thankfulness, when we can put our earthly cares behind us and push complaints aside. Joy is coming.