Monday, January 03, 2011

Prayer #146: Epiphaninny

urban epiphany: life is around you and in you

Are you an overemotional ninny -- one who weeps with little provocation over things sad and joyous alike? Or maybe that's just me lately?

If you said yes, then perhaps we should examine our triggers for ninnyness. By the end of a VERY weepy 2010, mine included but were not limited to:

* good conversations with my mother
* thinking of things a dear friend who passed away this year would enjoy
* picturing one of my best friends as a mother when her first little guy arrives this spring
* Josh Groban's newest CD
* Love Actually ... again
* writing cards and letters to people I love
* news of people's engagements -- four in the last two weeks!
* my friends' surprise announcement that they're expecting (that one got a Miss America-style rapid hand wave in a futile effort to ward off tears)
* Josh Groban's Christmas CD
* anything involving bells, trumpets, and people singing like bells and/or trumpets
* the score of "The Polar Express" (see: people singing like trumpets)
* choral flash mobs
* hearing real Gregorian Chant at a monastery
* reading an excellent YA novel for three hours straight (not sure if it was the fine writing or the dystopian universe the author created that set me off ...)
* having Fella sitting next to me on the couch
* discussing mortgages with people I went to prom with
* accepting that Josh Groban doesn't know I exist

And yes, all of these items caused me to cry either on the Metro, while driving, in my pillow, at the kitchen table, in front of my computer, on the phone, and myriad other ridiculous places over the course of the last year.

Not always comfortable or flattering, I assure you. But being a leaky faucet brought me something unexpected -- an epiphany.

Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning 'manifestation.' It reveals the essence or meaning of something, changes your perception, and sparks your intuition. In other words, epiphanies are little but profound earthquakes that shake up what you thought was solid and show what's hidden in the ground below.

My epiphany was that overemotional ninnyness signals a fault line. It split my naivete wide open and showed me that really loving, really mourning, really celebrating what we're put on earth to do can't help but move you. In fact, if you're not moved at least occasionally, your heart has likely fallen out of your chest. Get that checked out.

I thought I had always understood this. I mean, it's a simple enough concept, right? But it took true loss, doubt, and gratitude -- over and over and over again -- to show me how deep and wide our lives run. I didn't know how much I didn't know. And 2011 will now be a richer year for having grasped it -- tears and all.

Prayer #146: Epiphaninny

To a God who cracks me with a lightning bolt and then knocks me over with a fingertip --

Turn me into a leaky faucet. Make me the snottiest, snivelling-est sap You can think of. Leave me curled in the fetal position as I use up the entire annual output of Kleenex tissues.

But don't do it to torment. Do it to instruct. Do it so that I can't avoid what You're trying to tell me. Do it so that I can comprehend an infinitesimal fraction of what You take on every second of every day for every one of your creation.

Eventually I'll calm down, blow my nose, and splash water on my face. Then I'll walk out the front door and tell the world what You have done for me.

Even if it makes me cry.



  1. Anonymous10:17 PM


    I think God must have led me to your post today- a day when I have shed more tears than I would like to admit and have been beating myself up for it since the first one got squeezed out the old tear ducts! I know that God is trying to tell me something, but I think I am stubbornly resisting it or obliviously missing it. Until then, I expect more tears are a'comin'... but I hope He grants me the grace to accept them- and stop beating myself up for being such an "overemotional ninny"- as you've so eloquently encouraged us to do through your post.

  2. Anonymous1:49 AM

    I was moved.

  3. Anonymous12:33 PM

    We loved the reflection and prayer, as usual. We liked how you took one word, epiphany, and wrote something so short that so perfectly translated the daily meaning of that seasonal word. And we liked that we made the list. Thanks for celebrating with us. We had a sonogram on Monday. The baby jumped. We couldn't stop laughing. Epiphaninnies all.

  4. Great post! I stumbled across your blog while looking for photo's for my "Prayer Triggers" post. I'll definitely be back! I hope you stop by & visit mine!

  5. Thank you all! And Lisa, thanks for sharing your blog with me. :)