All Courses Forums Course Discussion Forums Creating a Caring Presence Week 3: Video" the Language of Tears" with Daniel Bagby

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      Rose McKeown
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      @rmckeown

      Video: The Language of Tears – Dan Bagby

      A beautiful, inspiring, moving and educational video! Dan speaks to us as Pastor and friend and fellow companion on the journey of life as he helps us to understand the value of our tears and the tears of others. In his ministry, he noticed how many different ways people cry and that there is a language to these tears. Why do we cry? We cry for many different reasons. Tears are a language that communicate parts of our inner selves in a way that words can’t. They are the language of our soul. To understand our tears is to understand ourselves. Dan shows us how our tears are a gift from God and how they help us to heal. I was at one talk on grief where the speaker called tears “God’s holy water”…they are an innate gift in every human being and they help us heal. They can be cleansing agents. Just like love, tears are a universal language and they are with us from birth until death.
      I especially appreciated Dan’s invitation to make tears our friends. When people share their tears with us, they invite us into the inner sanctum of their lives. There, where we are made in God’s image. How tears introduce us into the inner foyer of their home. If we can be with the other in their tears, we are often led ‘to the back room of what life is all about’. We are led ‘into hallowed places where sacred conversations sometimes begin with tears”. What an awesome and sacred ministry we are called to. We are truly on Holy Ground.

      Dan shares: “I hope you and I are ambassadors on the journey of life to help people release tears because what we are doing is releasing the pent-up feelings and expressions and emotions in people’s lives that are also the journey of the soul”. To be an empathetic ambassador for someone else, I need to have such an ambassador in my own life and I am blessed to find that in my spiritual director with whom I meet on a monthly basis. ..my soul partner who understands me even more than I understand myself and with whom I have shed many tears of pain and of joy.

      This helps me to be a listener with those I meet in my ministry as chaplain at the hospital. The ministry is always mutual. As I help the other, the other also helps me. I was especially touched by Dan’s sharing of his tears of loneliness when he was 6,000 miles away from his circle of care. This brought to my thoughts, the Residents in the nursing home often sit with these tears of loneliness. Often their spouse or life partner is gone, their family work and cannot always be there, they’ve had to sell their home, many friends have died etc. Tears often fill their eyes. A listening presence is what we are for them as their tears speak louder than words. Be with them, cry with them, a smile, a hug…..may lead you into their inner room where God is and they will know that God cries with them. They begin to share more of what is going on there inside them. Maybe they even sense ‘that you’ve been there too’. Often residents will share after my visit with them: “I feel so much better now….thank you for coming, please come back soon..”

      The story of the seven-year old who truly was a pastor for her friend…”I put my head down on the desk with her….” No words. She cried with her. That brought back a memory of an experience in our ER. A nine-year old boy was killed in a car accident. He was in the back seat. His two sisters were in the front seat, with the 16-yr. old driving. She had just gotten her driver’s license and was taking her sister for open-house at the high school. She pulled out onto the road and was hit by a tractor-trailor. She and her sister were uninjured but her brother in the back seat was killed instantly. They were all brought to our ER. The girls in one room and the boy in another. Parents were notified. I will never forget the mother’s face when she arrived. She looked at us and fell on her knees sobbing. Our faces said more than words could say.

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