Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
I still remember the day a few years ago when I burned my finger really badly.
You see, we were in a rush, because my wife had to go back to a baby shower soon and we had a semi-elaborate meal planned, so I was cooking up a storm.
We have several spatulas, but one of them has a metal handle. I rarely use that one, so I got in the habit of just resting the spatula on the skillet for a moment with the plastic ones. Well, because I was trying to cook a couple things at once, I didn’t think about it when I sat the metal one on the skillet.
By the time I picked it back up, it was white hot. Burned a huge patch on the top portion of my inner index finger. Hurt like death. I was literally crying involuntarily. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME! THAT THING HURT! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CRYING WHEN IT HURTS!
Anyway, I spent the rest of my day wrapping it in a frozen towel, then airing it out until it hurt again, then putting it back on the frozen wet towel. Off and on, off and on.
So, now I have this zombie finger where most of my finger print is bright red, surrounded by normal flesh.
I wore a Band-Aid over it during the day when I’m at work, since I had to use it to type and write and everything ever (did I mention it was my right-handed index finger, on my dominant hand… it’s like the most important finger I have!).
This brings me to band-aids. Plastic ones suck. The only good band-aids are the fabric-y kind that stretch with you as you move. Anyway…
In my awkwardness at the office, I gave myself a pretty deep paper cut on the next section of my index finger down, and I kept hitting it on stuff, and now I had to go to work with two band-aids around the same finger.
So, now I have a mummy finger, all wrapped up in bandages. Mummy finger by day, zombie finger by night. Fear it.
Of course, I tell you this gross and painful story to allude to another issue I have been dealing with: Problem after problem piling up.
You see, when the world didn’t end in December of 2012, I thought, “Man, 2013 is going to be a great year!” Well, I’m just going to be blunt. 2013 sucked. 2014 wasn't much better. 2015 was good for a while, but then went down hill for several months. And now it's 2016 and things are off and on. I guess that's what being an adult is.
I mean, day-by-day, stuff is great. And every so often, I have a stretch of amazing days. But every couple of weeks for the past several years now, it seems there has been some sort of crisis or sad event in my life. And before I can heal from one crisis, another strikes, and I’m covered in bandages.
It’s to the point where if I sit and think too long, I get really depressed. I have had strained relationships, hurt feelings, overeating issues, friends moving away, deaths of friends and family, worries about money, doubts about my ministry, injuries, surgeries, a kid who wears me out physically and emotionally… and, honestly, there are just some days when I feel like crying.
And so I do.
There really is nothing wrong with crying. In fact, it can be very freeing. Even the Bible tells us that there comes a time when crying is necessary.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4 NLT
Heck, even “Jesus wept.”
And it makes you feel better. It’s the release of the pain you hold inside. It gives you the strength to face a new day that might be just as tough as the last one.
Don’t be afraid to cry, especially you men who were taught the opposite, that men shouldn’t cry. That’s nonsense.
Crying is a gift.
Matt Coker is the Ministry Director of The Back Row. He is married to a beautiful woman he met when they were both in youth group and they have one mischievous son together. Matt collects Funko Pop figures, loves time travel movies, and enjoys jerky meats. You can contact Matt via the contact page or on Twitter at @BackRowOnline.