Friday, July 18, 2008

Tears and the Holy Spirit

I knew from my work in the church how important a role tears play in making a man whole. I think I could almost put it down as a rule that the touch of God is marked by tears. When finally we let the Holy Spirit into our innermost sanctuary, the reaction is to cry. I have seen it happen again and again. Deep soul-shaking tears, weeping rather than crying. It comes when the last barrier is down and you surrender yourself to health and to wholeness.

And when it does come, it ushers forth such a new personality that, from the days of Christ on, the experience has been spoken of as a birth. "you must be born again, " said Jesus. And the paradox is this: at the heart of this newborn personality is joy; yet the joy is ushered in by tears.

- David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade (A very highly recommended read for anyone longing - I think we all are - for something completely and utterly real. Religious platitudes, theological disputes, and unbelief are wholly suspended as we are told the true story of one praying person who steps out in faith to witness the transforming message of the gospel to New York City's heart-hardened gang members. To read a narrative of a country preacher who watches the Holy Spirit transform the lives of violent teenagers on the 1960 streets of New York City is to be reintroduced to the mighty power of God. "Christ's love is a love without angles: a love that asks nothing in return. It is a love that wants only the best for these boys and girls. It is a love that redeems.")