An excerpt from my forthcoming book, God, What on Earth are You Doing? an Honest Conversation:
I often say that we Americans know how to cry, but not lament. Crying can simply be sadness over circumstances we do not like. Lament is a deeper cry of the soul that brings one’s sorrow to God and wrestles with it there. One wise pastor says, “In this fallen world, sadness is an act of sanity, our tears the testimony of the sane.” Those in this category have internalized the great themes of the Bible, not in the stereotypical Sunday school sort of way, but in a way that has produced lasting fruit over the course of many years.
 Zack Eswine, Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those who Suffer from Depression (Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2014), 30.
A story is told of Carlini, the Italian actor, who, being the subject of heavy depression of spirit, applied to a French physician and it was recommended he attend the Italian theater, and, said the physician, “If Carlini does not dispel your gloomy complaint, your case must be desperate, indeed.”
The physician was not a little surprised when his patient replied, “Alas, Sir, I am Carlini. And while I divert all Paris with mirth and make them almost die with laughter, I myself am dying with melancholy.”
How empty and insufficient are the amusements of the world! Even in their laughter their heart rejoices not. Miserable comforters are all those who would drown seriousness in wine and merriment.
7. A slowed down spirituality to lead with integrity. Our first passion is Jesus, not reconciliation. Reconciliation is a byproduct, an essential outworking of our following of Jesus. At New Life, we invite people to leave the world, along with the cultural American church, to radically follow Jesus. Reconciliation is a core theological outworking of the gospel, not an addendum. Slowing down for a deep, beneath the surface spirituality with Jesus is the only way our us to do this with integrity.
Tim Savage is the pastor of a church back in my hometown of Phoenix. I vividly recall Tim telling me that Morna Hooker, his doctoral supervisor at Cambridge, seemed to understand the pathos of Paul better than many male, Pauline scholars.
Hooker can hold her own intellectually against any male New Testament scholar, but it does seem many (not all) women may have a bit of an edge in picking up the less than rational components.
Allow me to clarify a few things, but please know my thinking in this area is provisional and partial. Not much is set in stone.
“Less than rational components” does not equal anti-rational. Like Pascal, I think “the heart has its reasons that reason knows not of.” This certainly does not make these “less than rational” things irrational.
As to an example, perhaps we could look at Paul’s affliction which resulted in despair (II Cor. 1:8,9). We don’t know for sure, but perhaps some of that affliction was not physical in nature. And maybe a female scholar might be more sensitive that the non physical affliction of the “concern for all the churches” could’ve contributed to Paul’s despair.
As a male who has a strong gift of discernment, I still find my wife (a summa cum laude graduate of seminary, so plenty capable on the “rational” stuff) picking up clues, especially with our sons, that I miss at times. I must add though that I also pick up clues that she sometimes misses, which is why I said my observations are “provisional and partial.”