The Crying Room
Uncertainly Emma entered, pushing the door open slightly.
She could see women everywhere, mostly middle aged and elderly,
some younger -- leaning against the walls, stooped over
benches, sitting alone. Tears were everywhere, in every
form -- soft sobs coming from all corners of the room. Sniffles,
hung in the air -- Emma could barely breathe through its
thickness. There was no hope here! Why were the women all
so silent, so solitary? No one was speaking, no one was
comforting -- everyone was stooped over with sadness, as
bearing a heavy burden that no one could lift.
was standing room only, and she began to feel choked, smothering
from the heaviness that hung darkly throughout.
was a lady in a uniform standing nearby. Emma blinked unbelieving…was
she some sort of door monitor? The lady seemed to be in
charge, yet aloof. Emma ventured closer to her, and asked
in a hushed voice,
me…I'm not sure I'm in the right room…"
to Emma without even looking her way. "Why are you
not sure…I have been having some family issues, you see
-- and the well-dressed man said I should come in here...?"
determinedly, but still without looking into Emma's eyes.
"Children disappointed you, have they? Turned from
God? Is your husband breaking your heart? Have you felt
some sadness over hard times in your life?"
of voice was so…impersonal.
mean, I've been having some problems, and…"
you're in the right room. Find a corner. Cry it out. Don't
bother anyone else. No one wants to talk about it anymore
than you do."
Emma walked to the corner with the least women standing
around. She certainly didn't want to bother anyone, but
she wasn't sure she wanted to be left alone, either.
for awhile, looking around. Tears began to trickle down
her face as she considered her own problems.
sadness, every dashed hope, every unexplainable trial came
to her mind as Emma considered her own life history. She
could feel her own shoulders drooping, like everyone else's
in the room.
She told herself. Think about something else!
around. There were no windows. Darkness was all around.
So, she decided to strike up a conversation with the woman
next to her. What could it hurt?
mean, how are you? Well…I, uh…can I help?"
stopped moaning and looked Emma's way. Then, she looked
up toward the lady monitor.
back again at Emma and hissed, "Leave me alone! Can't
you see I don't want to talk about it?!"
away from her, embarrassed. She nearly fell over another
woman, who was stooped over on the floor, rocking back and
forth. Suddenly, Emma felt the need to hold her. The strange
woman was in so much emotional pain.
Emma put her arms around the woman. But her whole body seemed
to cringe at Emma's touch. Her sobbing came in deep choking
sounds. Emma quickly moved away from her.
opposite corner, she felt someone watching her. When she
looked into the woman's face, the woman looked away.
is it with these ladies, thought Emma. Why does no
one want to look at me, or talk? She inched over to
the woman, hoping she would speak. Emma glanced again at
the lady monitor-she was busy with some paperwork.
are you? I noticed you are looking around the room. I thought
maybe, we could…well, talk to each other."
briefly looked into Emma's eyes, then she looked away. Her
face was tight with dried tears, and she didn't even attempt
do you want to talk about?" she whispered.
is this place?" Emma whispered hoarsely back.
"Why is everyone so sad…so private? What has
happened to them?"
you know?" asked the woman suspiciously. "You
were sent here, weren't you, by the well-dressed man…?"
yes actually, but…"
why were you sent here?" she asked.
not really sure. The well-dressed man saw my joylessness,
and asked me a few questions, and then he sent me here.
He doesn't even know me. Why would he think I would
want to come here?"
you see? This is where all women want to come who have that
What has happened?"
sighed. "The same things that have happened to you,
I guess…things you don't understand…bad things…unfair
things…things you never wanted to happen."
mean…all of these women are angry?"
she responded dully, "the anger room is next door.
This is the crying room…you know, where you feel
the sadness-when you first start to accept those things
that have happened to you…when it first breaks your heart…"
looked away. Emma sat down, trying to understand. The lady
monitor was looking her way, so she put her head down.
been hard to understand lately. As Emma sat thinking about
the past few years, she felt that despair returning. Her
teen-aged children had been rebellious, her husband had
been distant…non-believing…and then, he had died. She had
worked so hard to provide a good home for her children --
she had such high hopes for them!
of all, they just didn't share her faith. She had hoped
so much that they could all attend church together -- that
all of them could become believers and live a life of joy
and peace and faith. Oh, how she wanted that!
Actually, she wanted what her friend Joy had.
family all went to church. Her children loved her and respected
her. Her husband was alive...he was an elder in the church,
and served in so many different ways. He was such a family
man. It just wasn't fair!
loved Joy. Joy was such a nice friend…Joy and her perfect
children, her perfect family…Joy and her perfect life...it
was just that Emma had tried so hard! Emma had not
been a church-goer when her babies were born. She had embraced
Christ soon after that, though, as she realized how important
it was for her children to know Him.
been faithful! But Joy caught all the breaks. Where was
the fairness in that, after all! All the bad things happened
to Emma. Why wasn't she good enough to have a life like
Joy's?? She thought God had loved her…she thought God had
promised to care for her…!
crossed over the carpet where Emma was sitting. She looked
up and was startled to see the lady monitor frowning down
perhaps you've misunderstood. You're in the wrong room."
and stood up. "Yes!" she exclaimed to the lady
monitor. "Yes! I'm sure you're right. I'm not supposed
to be here…"
right," nodded the lady monitor matter-of-factly. "The
Bitterness Room is across the hall."
Have you ever visited The Crying Room?
Admittedly life is hard. There are many sadnesses that threaten
to overcome us, and overwhelm us, and consume us.
can be healthy; sadness can be a normal feeling in life.
Indeed, Solomon tells us that…
is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven;
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and
a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and
a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn…
and a time to dance…
So what exactly is The Crying
Room? It's a room for dwelling…it's not a healing
room -- it's a room set aside for self-pity, remorse. The
private ones are the most frequent visitors to this room.
Most of these people are afraid to share their feelings
-- they are most comfortable, and even prefer, to be alone
-- to wallow in the sadness's they have encountered in their
own lifetimes -- the injustices, the indignancies, the hurts.
It begins in turn to shape who they are -- to form who they
This is how the enemy (the
well-dressed man) would keep you -- in a solitary place
-- a dark place of growing resentment toward the Creator.
He waits until just the right moment to invite you there,
then provides just the dark place needed to "cry it
out" and remain in your tears. He will even continue
to remind you of how sad you really are -- how sad you should
Are you there?
I've been there.
Around fifteen years ago, Ken
and I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to pick up our new,
beautiful, one-year-old son. We were there for 2 weeks,
as we completed paperwork, interviewed with the Thai government,
and spent time with our precious new gift. In our hotel
room each night, I would watch him as he fell asleep. I
wrote down my first impressions of him, my goals for his
life -- my hopes and dreams as I watched him. I knew God
had given us a great gift.
As he grew, I began to realize
he had special needs. I felt so inadequate as his mother!
But I persevered, and was overjoyed one day when he crawled
up in my lap and sighed, "I smell…my Mommy."
I was sure God would heal certain
issues in my son's life, and that as he grew, things would
Soon, we were going through
psychological testing, emotional testing, and birth history.
The discoveries we made broke my heart. I felt the weight
of sorrow and sadness engulf me! I visited The Crying Room,
more and more frequently.
One day, on a Saturday morning,
we joined with an older couple to pray for our son. They
knew of our struggles and wanted to wrap their arms around
us through prayer and support.
As we knelt to pray, the older
woman said to me, "Lygia, you are engulfed in sadness!
Where is your joy? Has this problem consumed you?! Are you
being ruled by your emotions? That is sin! Jesus must be
foremost in all your situations. He certainly has a plan!
Let it go! This sadness is sin -- joy is a choice! Choose
At first, I felt insulted!
How dare she rebuke me, when I was going through such a
hard time! How dare she not feel sorry for me! How dare
she not feel my pain…didn't she know all I was going through?
But as I began to pray, God
began to reveal her words as truth to my heart. I was indeed
allowing the enemy to keep me in a dark place -- a place
of hopelessness, joylessness, and it was leading to bitterness…
I began to choose joy. Oh,
it wasn't easy. It still isn't at times. Allowing our son
to go to a place that could better meet his needs -- acknowledging
that our home is no longer the best place for him…choosing
to let him live somewhere else, where some are better-trained
to give him the care he needs…knowing that our son might
become bitter toward us and not understand what we had to
do…? Well, that is deeply sad. Bitterly hard. Do
you understand? And even now as I write, I feel the deep
sadness and tears come freely.
But I will not stay there.
I will not dwell in The Crying Room. The joy of the Lord
is my strength! Therein will my hope be renewed, and
my thanksgiving to God will be fresh, as I rejoice in what
God has planned -- for my precious son, and for the rest
of the Lovelace's.
Here are some of the thoughts
I wrote to my son, so long ago in that hotel room, in Bangkok,
My sweet new son! How beautiful
you are! I can't believe you are really here,
beside me, in this hotel room -- and you are my son!
I cannot wait to see what God has planned for you. I know
that His plan for you
is one that will prosper you…that will grow you…that will
be the best for you.
Oh, how I love you already! I will always be…
So come out. Come out of The
Crying Room. Have you been there a long time? Step out of
your self-pity…Choose joy! Embrace God's plan! Receive the
growth that God has planned for you through this sad, even
And we know that in all things God
words for the good of those who love Him,
who have been called according to His purpose.
Over the next few weeks we
will follow Emma's journey -- as she moves from The Crying
Room to rooms of bitterness and anger…and beyond.
heart is good medicine…it makes the face cheerful!
But a broken spirit? Deep heartache? It crushes the spirit,
and dries up the bones.
…taken from Proverbs 15:13
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights