High River United Church of High River, Alberta


Welcome Your Tears - a path through COVID 19

Posted by on in Ministers’ Reflections
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print
  • Report this post

Grace and Peace to you this day.


You are in my prayers today as I bring thoughts of you to my mind and hold you in my heart. These days are indeed filled with scatteredness and all the trembling that comes with anxious times. Today I am especially mindful of all the lacks and losses we are experiencing. All we can do is find our tears and grieve. What?!, you say. What do you mean find our tears? Isn’t this the time to be strong and be resilient in the face of such a crazy time? Stay with me now.


I want to invite you to walk with me into the territory of human emotion. Let’s be honest, as human beings we have emotions. We just do. They are what they are, and we have them. No one emotion is good or bad, positive or negative. If we say anger is bad, or that sadness is a sign of weakness, that’s just us assigning our value or quality to an emotion. We are the ones deciding if an emotion is good or bad when in actual fact, emotions just are. In my mind, they are value neutral. They just are.


During the past 10 days, I was forced to cancel a pilgrimage to Ireland, Wales and England. I had to cancel the Highwood Lions Music Festival, endure the disappointment that my son’s university recital is also cancelled, and that the graduation celebration for my older son is likely toast, too. That’s just a little bit about me. It will be similar for you too. Every one of us is experiencing losses right now related to cherished plans, celebrations, get-togethers, travel, adventure, and separation from each other. Closures, cancellations and isolation are all around us right now.


Here’s what I know to be true. We need to find the safe place in our lives where we can cry about the things we cannot change and grieve our losses. Perhaps that’s in the arms of our loved one, or in the quiet company of a lit candle, or while watching a sad movie. Our tears of sadness and futility are nature’s design, a design which serves to deliver us into resiliency and grant us the capacity to adapt. A stiff upper lip is not resiliency; it is only a defense against vulnerability. When we have a good cry, we are soon moved to feel better and be able to adapt to whatever is before us.


Our culture doesn’t like emotion very much, far less expressions of sadness. Most of us are uncomfortable with tears and many are afraid that if they start to cry, they won’t be able to stop. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear people say that to me. But it’s not true. Tears are nature’s way of delivering us to healing, recovery and resilience—resilience as defined by our capacity to bounce back. Just so you know, we won’t be able to cry for more than two hours at any given time. Our tears will deliver us to the other side of sadness.


In this time of cancellations, disruptions, disappointments and all the letting go that we are having to do, it’s important that we gently come alongside our sadness and take up a relationship with it. It’s important to cry about and grieve that which cannot be. Having our tears takes some courage (from the latin root cor “to have heart”), and if you are like me, tears don’t come easily. But I’ve learned that if I can find my safe, quiet place and have heart just to weep, I know I will feel better. I know I will bounce back and be truly resilient in the face of adversity. I know I will be able to better support the ones I love.


During this period of separation and aloneness, loss and grief, extraordinary to be sure, I invite your tears. I invite you to name the losses that are part of your life right now and find that place that allows for the safe expression of your tears. Physical distancing is required of us now, but we are close and courageous of heart. Have a good cry, my dear ones, and know that you are not alone.


Wherever you may be, we are lighting a candle at 10:00 am every morning so that we can hold you in God’s circle of light and love. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Not even a virus.


In peace,

Rev. David

March 19, 2020                  ©David Robertson 2020

Last modified on



Help Those Devastated by the Wildfires in Northern Alberta
Created On Wednesday, 24 May 2023
There are many options to offer monetary support (whichever one works for you, please be sure...
We Pray for Those Devastated and Evacuated due to Wildfires
Created On Tuesday, 16 May 2023
For those in the Midst of Wildfires: The Burnt Prayer, A Prayer of Lament, A Prayer in Burning...
We're Delighted to Welcome the LGBTQ+ Community
Created On Tuesday, 04 April 2023
It is with joy that High River United Church announces that we are open, public, intentional and...
Bearing Witness to the Findings at the Alberni Residential School
Created On Wednesday, 22 February 2023
Dear Community of High River, Please join the people of High River United Church today in a time...



123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

(403) 652-3168


Contact Us Page

Sign In or Register
Not Registered Yet?

If you have no website account, click the SIGNUP link below and then confirm your account through email.

Reset My password - Remind Me My username

Remember me