Both good and bad in tears

What prompts you to tears? Last week’s story shared my take on tears. I believe a good cry is good for the soul and tears can have healing power. However, allowing sorrowful tears to torment can spoil the joy of living and send us spiraling into sadness and seclusion. Tender tears can captivate while continuous crying can keep one captive. Before concluding this message implies tears only come from babies or whips who sit around and cry over everything; read it and weep! Tears of joy just might be what you need ‘for such a time as this’!

Tears can express many feelings. There are tears of joy and happiness, tears of heartache and sorrow, and tears of frustration and anger. Tears can communicate in a way that words cannot. While no one wants to be labeled a cry baby, one should not feel intimidated when tears come. Shedding tears can be misunderstood, especially for men who might fear being labeled weak. Strong men do cry.

The easiest verse in the Bible to remember is “Jesus wept”! The hardest part of that verse is how hurt Jesus was when He wept. Do you know why he shed tears? Someone he loved deeply died, and he was blamed for not being there! Crying comes to those who are strong and powerful, even the Son of God who died on the cross for you and me.

David cried when he lost his son Absalom. Yet, Jesus nor King David became lost in their tears. Jesus asked if the cup could pass from Him, then accepted his lot with a heart in tune with HIs Father’s will. King David prayed and cried over his sick son, but tore off his mourning clothes when Absalom passed away. David praised God when sorrowful tears could have kept him secluded and stopped the plans God had for the rest of his life. The power of being connected to the Vine brought strength to dry their tears and keep them in touch with HIs Guiding Light and unconditional LOVE.

Charles Swindoll puts crying in proper perspective, “A teardrop on earth summons the King of Heaven. Rather than being ashamed or disappointed, the Lord takes note of our inner friction when hard times are oiled by tears. He turns these situations into moments of tenderness. He never forgets those crises in ones’ life when tears were shed.”

So, what prompts you to tears? Perhaps it is the joy of a newborn baby or the memory of a loved one you miss so much. Is it watching a child being baptized or an elderly couple slowly crossing the street hand in hand? Could it be witnessing your teenager’s first heartbreak or waiting for a doctor’s report? Is it watching your family laughing and talking around the table at Thanksgiving or seeing the empty chair where a loved one used to sit? It could be a sad movie or a surprise visit from a child who has been away from home for many seasons. The most joyful tears would be prompted by knowing all our loved ones have accepted Jesus in their hearts and cherish a close relationship with Him and with one another.

As I write this story in the still of the night, silence settles in and little night lights twinkle like stars throughout our home. Sadness works its way into my writing as tears wet my wrinkled face. Bowing my head, I ask for help. It comes quickly as I raise my head and focus the eyes of my heart on pictures of James and me, Tim and me, Sarah and James, our children, grandchildren, and friends. A slideshow replays family milestones, and memories that comfort like the shawl a friend gave me when James went to Heaven. Jean’s note on her handmade gift read, “… With every stitch I prayed for you. When you wrap this shawl around you, may love and warmth comfort you.”

His sweet spirit, the Comforter Jesus promised would come to His children, wrapped me with warmth and love that touches eternity. I cherish my yesterdays, am thankful for today, and look forward to my tomorrows. Having peace, love, and joy in our hearts and Jesus as Head of our homes is reason for tears of joy to flow like a river.

The enemy would like for all of us to be sad, stewing in pity and puniness, while he steals our joy and destroys our happily ever after. When we stand up for Jesus as soldiers of the cross and tell the enemy to flee and get behind us, there is victory in Jesus and eternity in Heaven.

I pray this story has moved you closer to Jesus and to your loved ones. It is a sign of strength and wholeness to cry over something that deeply moves you. Don’t apologize for your tears. After all, why apologize for a wonderful gift from God? Your tears are an important part of your communication. Let them flow!

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