I CRY A LOT. DOES THAT MAKE ME A CRYBABY? Maybe. Depends on what I’m crying about. Tears come off the shelf in an assortment of shapes and sizes.
BAD TEARS—Tears of anger, self-pity, disappointment, frustration—all of them self-centered. I’ve been hurt; I’ve been treated badly; things aren’t going MY way. Those sour, bitter tears come all too often.
TEARS OF FATIGUE are another category. When I’m too tired to even undress for bed, I cry, then shift to “Buck up. Just DO it.” My mother cried a lot, which annoyed me at the time. Now, however, I realize how hard she worked to keep her ungrateful daughter in college. She had every right to cry, and it’s too late for me to say thank you.
GOOD, OTHER-FOCUSED TEARS: sympathy, compassion, gratitude, beauty, love, joy. Any of these can evoke tears of great value.
WORSHIP, however, is the supreme other category and perhaps best of all tears. Some folks have gifts of serving, preaching, healing. My gift is TEARS, offered up to the Lord whom I love with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Just recently, I dragged myself to our monthly time of pure worship. I went because I needed to, and my “gift” flowed freely. The deep, worshipful words of the songs, scripture read by assorted voices, prayers that went up—all drew my heart upward. God will one day wipe away all tears, but on this side of the veil, some tears may be jewels of worship.
Treading dangerous waters here, but people who are seldom moved in a worship environment may be simply mouthing empty, emotionless praise. I’m not saying we all need to cry in church. I am saying we need to monitor our heart focus.
Tears are a part of being human. The inability to cry is monster pathology. But on the opposite end, many innocent people live in constant pain, danger, or threat of death. Their tears are measured by the quart. Perhaps, though, crying on their behalf is a precious gift that God somehow uses.
Tears are my pearls of great price. I offer them up as a holy sacrifice.
I’ve observed that really old men cry easily. Younger men, not so much. Women—definitely. Do you have a tear story? Please share it, either by Commenting below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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