What makes us cry?
What makes you cry?
What makes God cry?
I have been thinking about tears a lot the past few days.
I don’t like to admit the fact that I am a cryer, but I am. I cry often. In fact, I’m tearing up right now just writing about crying. It’s not unusual for me to start crying when I see someone else crying, regardless if I’m sad or not.
Just seeing someone else cry moves me to tears.
Up until now I thought that was because I tend to be too easily enmeshed emotionally. Your emotions become my emotions. I get to a point when it’s hard for me to differentiate between my emotions and yours. It’s an involuntary happening. It has always made me uncomfortable. I guess because I feel weak.
But I am learning that there is more to my crying than just the act of producing tears. In fact, the more I learn about our God and Creator, the more I learn about myself and the reason we are the way we are. Although we are each uniquely created, we are all created in the image of God. Therefore we are similar in nature, we can relate to one another.
We all have times of deep emotion whether sadness or joy. We experience unforgettable love, whether children or lovers, parents or friends or siblings… We get angry, we are jealous. We desire justice. We see beauty, we create beauty. We feel sorrow and exuberance.
Maybe I am late in realizing this, but I think I am beginning to understand something. An idea, a thought that I have never really considered before. It is so easy to take advantage of the fact that we feel and move and breathe… and cry. But even these things, especially these things, reflect our glorious creator. Because we are His image bearers. Nothing else in creation reflects Him like we do. That’s why we can truly say there are no ugly people, that everyone has a purpose, no one is a mistake. But I want to go even further than that and say, not even our tears are wasted. God can even be seen in those.
We cry because God cries.
We laugh because God laughs.
We love because He loved us.
We experience emotion, deep emotion, because God does too.
“And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it.” Luke 19:41
One of the most moving stories in the Bible having to do with tears is found in Luke 7. Jesus was having dinner with Simon, who was a Pharisee. As they sat down to eat, a woman approached Jesus. She knelt at Jesus’ feet and cried. Her tears flowed over Jesus’ feet as she wept. It didn’t matter who was there or what they thought. She cried before her Saviour in gratitude for the forgiveness of her sin. She cried because where there once had been a black void of deep pain and unforgiveness, had now been renewed with the Light of Christ. She had been released from her burden of guilt. She was now free. She not only knew Jesus as her Saviour, she was now intimately acquainted with Him as her Redeemer. She had been overcome completely by her tears. And it was ok. Jesus even defended her by saying in the gospel of Matthew, “She has done a good deed… and wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman had done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.” She is remembered for her tears. Not only her tears, but what they mean.
God gives us permission to cry. He even welcomes our tears. He understands them. Because He has cried too.
“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” Luke 6:21
And I’m learning that it’s ok to cry when other people cry. Our tears move Him to tears too.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
None of them are wasted. They are all accounted for. He watches them as they fall from your face, drip off your chin, run down your neck. He knows your pain, your gratitude, your fear, your anger, your sorrow, your joy. Tears are a gift. They bring healing, relief.
“Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?” Psalm 56:8
But one day we wont need them anymore. There will be no reason for tears. We who know Him have experienced the healing power of His forgiveness and love. We have been changed and we are thankful. But there will come a day when we will be changed forever, when we will be glorified in Him. Complete.
“For the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17
I will be glad to hand in my tissues. My eyes are soggy, as Deacon used to say.