I really cannot. What is cryping you ask? Well, it is my best and most accurate description of my action and expression to what we have experienced over the last two to three weeks. It is a combination of going in between praying and crying, more often than not, doing them simultaneously. As I look at the news, and settle into the reality of being inside for what only God knows, it is my uttermost gut response. And while I stand on the Word of the Lord and have faith in God’s “unchangeth not” status, I am human and as my mother has reminded me often, “God gave you tears for a use.”
I finally hit my breaking (which was necessary) somewhere around Wednesday. I’d been in such a robotic modality. I’d been operating in sandwich perspective. I worked to get our daughter out of Paris and to make sure that we were keeping my senior mom straight. Without thought or intention, I did grocery shopping, began working out of our home and continued in what may be perceived as business as usual. Around Wednesday during our staff meeting via Zoom (pray my strength Lawd), my leader did a round robin asking how everyone was doing. When she asked me, I felt the tears swell in my eyes and I shared that it was hard and additionally as an extrovert, I was struggling with limited human interaction. After I spoke, I sent a message in the chat box to alert everyone that I was stepping away for a moment. I went into the bathroom and released. I cried and cried and cried. I know the countenance of the weight of my pain showed on my face, as one colleague privately messaged me to inquire, “Are you okay?”
I responded, “I Am.” I shared with them a little of what I’d been navigating. They offered support. I thanked them. I’m a little more advanced in my profession and my own awareness of my emotional intelligence to worry myself about what anyone may have thought about my words or expression. That is anyone but God. Even though the entire call from the point of the original ask was challenging to say the least, I also knew that since I’d released and acknowledged that I was unable to navigate the present circumstances in isolation, that I was precisely where God needed me to be. Not until I released the burden that I was carrying onto Him was I able to move into a posture of prayer.
You see, it wasn’t that I wasn’t praying, but I certainly wasn’t posturing. Dictionary.com describes posture as, “a particular way of dealing with or considering something; an approach or attitude.” My attitude as a believer was not gloom or doom, or “I told y’all” or shaming the world for not following or adhering to the commands of God. But I was guilty of not engaging in a practice of what I know to be the response that God desires. We serve a jealous God and He will mandate what He wants, even amidst a staff meeting. As I came to that realization, the “cryping” emerged. No surprise that I’m a cryer – during worship, Hallmark commercials, testimonials from friends, news stories, a song, you name it, I cry. But the fact that God allows me to intersect between being grateful that my household is safe and that I have a physical dwelling place, and concurrently, praying for those who’ve lost loved ones, praying for our first responders, praying for our leaders, praying for those who are in harmful environments, praying for those who are being impacted financially, you may understand how my cryping comes to surface.
God also showed me that the intercessors are wearied, and they need reinforcement. God told me that I don’t have to give up crying for praying and that both occurring in concert with each other is sufficient. There are routines that I must continue to keep and maintain for my sanity and productivity. Although I was working out, I chose to move my exercise to the morning, just as I’ve always done. I’m continuing my intermittent fasting, despite the fact that the refrigerator is next to the area that I am doing work. And if I can alternate between eating and fasting, I can certainly intersect between praying and crying. It is not a question in relation to my faith, but instead a genuine response to the state we find ourselves in. I was reminded in Psalm 34:17-20 (The Message): Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.
And there it is. God is right there. There every time! And He is ready to rescue through our cry and our prayer. No matter what we are experiencing, His responsibilities and responsiveness to our cry remains steadfast. Tears are fine and encouraged as often as need be; however my prayer is what also enables tears of sadness to morph to weeping joy.!
*This* did not catch God by surprise nor is it to be used or manipulated by the false prophets out here. This is not the time (nor has it ever been) to shame or scold humanity. As believers, we are not immune to COVID-19. But we shouldn’t be immune to prayer either. It is our lifeline, and God’s expectation of us in the earth. And so what if you have to do it with tears streaming from your eyes, just so long as you don’t stop, even when we are victorious through this season (and WE WILL BE). The next challenge for us to overcome through our crying and praying is what we speak, as the power of life and death is in our tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
It is permissible to mourn the cancellations relevant to the Class of 2020. It is understandable to cry about weddings and family reunions being rescheduled to an indefinite date. It is right to be saddened about families missing food and wondering about how they will meet their obligations from day to day. It is heartfelt to be shaken about loss and sickness. It is okay to be disrupted by the disruption. And it is permissible to pray. And cry. And cryp. And cryping. And repeat. And when the dust settles, in the words of Pastor Donnie McClurkin, “There is God.”