We are all familiar with tears. Our own and those of people we love and care for. I have even caught a glimpse of a stranger in a restaurant wiping a stray tear…hoping no one noticed their vulnerability.
I have seen tears used for control and manipulation. Probably even tried that one myself. Tears can be mysterious, especially when they seem to come from no-where. I have started to relay a story and have become so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t continue and found myself saying…”I don’t know where that came from.”
What makes you cry? What touches your heart? Are you willing to be moved to tears? Are you uncomfortable with strong emotions?
Emily Freeman in her book, “A Million Little Ways”, says it like this:
“What does it matter what makes you cry or tear up?
…maybe our tears are tiny messengers, secret keepers of the most vulnerable kind, sent to deliver the most important message-Here is where your heart beats strong. Here is a hint to your design. Here is a gift from your inner life, sent to remind you of those things that make you come alive.
These tears carry the gift of your desire. Listen to them.
Change in the world comes when we acknowledge what moves us and why.
Listen to what makes you cry.”
I wrapped my arms around a grieving widow last week. She had lost her husband of 35 years to a sudden tragic accident. I felt and heard her sobs…but she had run out of tears to cry. So I cried some for and with her. The day of the funeral, I again heard her sobs as she and her family waited at the back of the church to make their way to the front. She looked out at a church filled to overflowing with a community that had suspended daily routine to remember the life of her husband and support his broken family.
I cried as I saw her grown son standing tall beside her, carrying his father’s ashes with tenderness and honor. I imagined the father had held this son with similar tenderness and honor on the day he was born.
Years ago I was in a heated “discussion” with a person in the inner circle of my life. It was not going well. With my back to this person, I was rendered to silent tears. In the silence… spoken at my back, came the words…”Your tears do not move me.” My heart was seared as if with a branding iron. Right or wrong, I made an inner vow that I would never weep in front of that person again.
Psalm 56:8 puts infinite value on our tears…