Tears. They always come easily to me. Good or bad. I cry easily.
I remember watching movies with my family when I was growing up and being teased by my dad and brother about the waterworks! I don’t know why I was embarrassed, but I was. My soft heart had tears coursing down my face whether the movie was sad or happy. In junior high my friends tormented me at slumber parties by reading the part in Little Women where Beth dies. It gets me every time. As a result of this family torment I’ve tried to steel myself against crying at movies (unless, of course, I’m alone.) But, what happens is that I never fully throw myself into the plot. I hold myself aloof from the characters. I harden my heart.
Many people apologize when tears fall as they share their struggles and pains. But Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. ” God created us to cry and we should never apologize for our tears.
Tears come as a result of emotional stress, suffering, mourning, physical pain, anger, happiness, fear, laughter, frustration, or remorse. I’ve shed tears for each one of those reasons. I’ve gone through times where it seemed I cried all the tears out of me and would never cry again. Other times I ached for the tears to come to relieve the stress and pressure building inside of me.
Lessons learned through great suffering when shared with others bring tears to my voice and often to the eyes of my listeners. I understand the admonition in scripture to “weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) In life I cannot hold back but must throw myself into the lives of the people God puts in my path. If they rejoice, then I must rejoice. If they weep, then I weep.
Looking through the Bible we see that Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and David all wept at great sorrow in their lives. The prophets wept over the state of Israel and Jesus wept for his friends at the death of Lazarus. Oh that God will give me a soft heart that is willing to share in the pain of others, to weep for the lost, and to intercede for the burdened. Let me be like Job where “my intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God” (Job 16:20) Let them not be tears just for me, but for others.
And let us remember that “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b