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The Whirlwind and Tears

Not as much time to write as I had hoped this week, with our first Monthly Gathering tomorrow (with 22 RSVP’s!), then my spiritual direction peer supervision group and women’s group in the afternoon and evening to recharge my soul.  Then Saturday I lead a workshop down at the Priory and stay overnight for our first Oblate meeting of the year on Sunday.  My own little whirlwind of activity, I am grateful for an open week next week to write and to be. In my blog journeying today I found two things that especially touched me, an image and a quote:


Art is by Michael Lightsey, “Whirlwind”

I found this lovely piece of art over at Church for Starving Artists evoking the image of God answering Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1)

Then at Coming to the Quiet, I found this wonderful quote about tears:

“You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you’ve never seen before. A pair of somebody’s old shoes can do it. Almost any movie made before the great sadness that came over the world after the Second World War, a horse cantering across a meadow, the high school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.”

Frederick Buechner, from Whistling in the Dark

May you be blessed with tears of joy and tears of sorrow.  May you hear God speaking to you through them of where your heart finds its deepest longings.  May you listen to the tender places and moments that stir you to great feeling.  There you will encounter the Holy One.

A wonderful weekend to all of you, dear readers.

-Christine Valters Paintner

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10 Responses

  1. Hi Christine,
    I believe that adults also attend our church’s Grieving for Kids class.

    I look forward to your post on Lectio divina and praying with art.

  2. Hi Bette, How wonderful your church offers that. How many adults could benefit from such a class. Lectio divina originally was developed as a way of praying with scripture, but I often use it as a way of praying with art as well. I will do a post on that soon.

    Hi Lew, So great to see you at the Gathering and to meet your lovely and talented daughter. From meeting your kids I can tell that you must be an amazing father. It was so very good to be in the creative community and I was moved to tears as well. Vulnerable rebels is a wonderful image.

    Blessings, Christine

  3. I know I’m writing somewhat after the fact but as I sat in today’s Gathering I noticed that I had slight tears running down my face. They were tears of joy as I listened to the stories of others regarding their creative journeys. Some were humorous, some were poignant, but in almost all I sensed common threads. In their sharing, I recognized my own journey and came to understand that in their company I am safe. It was good to be among other vulnerable rebels.

  4. Hi Christine :)
    Our church offers a weekly class on Grieving for Kids!

    I enjoyed Michael Lightsey’s “Whirlwind” art! Excellent emotion within the color and movement.

    I’ve been reading about Lectio Divina and I think it can involve meditation through art?

    Glad your foot is better :)

  5. Just a quick note before I head off for a marathon, albeit blessed, day:

    Welcome to you Shirley and thanks Songbird!

    Jennifer, very good to hear from you, I so missed seeing you at our dream group last month. Thank you for such kind words. And I am delighted to see you are blogging a bit again, such funny funny stuff. Blessings on you and your new sweet hound.

    Thank you Trish. The most amazing thing this morning, my foot has been so very sore the last couple of days, but I woke up this morning and it feels almost normal!

    Love, love, love,

  6. Dear Christine,
    Thank you so much for this blessing of tears. May all our hearts and eyes be opened to the ways the Holy will move through us.

    Blessings on your weekend. And may your foot feel better soon!

    Deep bows,

  7. Dear dear Christine,
    I have just taken some time and space reading back over your last few weeks of entries — thanks for your thoughtfulness and your good words. Your ideas about how we in the church can be more intentional/ritualistic about helping people grieve sticks with me. And the poem on suffering/joy is really helpful also. You are a gift – thank you!