In yesterday's post (read it here), I wrote about my non-negotiable attendance of the Annual RCA Chaplain's Conference. What makes it central to my annual routine is what it does for my soul and I want to share a bit about that now.
First, there are often many tears shed during the conference. After all, releasing accrued pain, etc is difficult and momentous work. There have been years I've left the conference exhausted not just because of the minimal sleep, but also because of the soul-purging in the form of tears. It is exhausting, but oh so good and needed. When I'm with my people, I speak a language they know--and much of that language is non-verbal or one word. We chaplain one another in our most raw times and it is a thing of beauty.
But also, even when tears flow in abundance, laughter is always a core component. And I don't just mean a chuckle here and there. No, I'm referring the all-consuming, deep down belly laugh that just takes over. The kind of laugh that fills in the carved paths the tears leave behind. The kind of laugh you see below.
I do know what was happening in this picture, but I also know I likely won't remember that forever. But I do know, that no matter how many years go by, when I see this picture I'll remember the life-giving laugh captured in this moment.
Laughter and tears. We need them both. We need to allow ourselves expressions of pain/sorrow/etc. It's the only way to truly release poison and clear the way for the Spirit to come in and do what it does. But we do also need laughter. Laughter reminds us there is light in the dark, life is worth fighting through, and even in sadness God sends us moments to lift us, if only for a moment.
Laughter and tears. Do you practice them both in equal measure? Which are you better at in this season of life? I challenge you to strive for balance and practice of both. Share your moments below of experience the gift of practicing both laughter and tears. I look forward to hearing from you!