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Friday, August 12, 2016

You need a good cry!

"Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven."  (Henry Ward Beecher) When was the last time you had a good cry?  Some may announce rather proudly, "It hasn't been since I was a small boy", or perhaps "It was a long, long time ago."  Others would speak of the recent weeks, sharing some story of how life dealt them a blow they just found no other recourse to deal with it than to break down and cry a little.  I'd have to say my last "good cry" has been a while, but there have been tears - of joy, stemming from laughter; of gratitude, emerging from that deep place of worship; and of grief, seeing someone I love hurt so deeply because of some pain they are enduring they cannot seem to overcome. It isn't the amount of tears shed as much as the things which evoked those tears to emerge! These are the things we will recount more than the tears.

Those who walk the fields to sow, casting their seed in tears, will one day tread those same long rows, amazed by what’s appeared.  (Psalm 126:5 VOICE)

Did you ever stop to think of your tears being the very thing which water the seeds which are being sown into your life, or the life of others?  In essence, those tears begin to break down the seed, making it pliable and eager to break forth in newness of life.  Our tears aren't always a bad thing, so to announce proudly that we "don't cry" is kind of like saying those who do are a little too sappy or emotional.  It is not uncommon for me to get deep into a place of worship and begin to sense the overwhelming presence of Jesus in that moment. It is also not uncommon for me to recall his countless extensions of grace and to find myself moved to the place a tear or two begin to trickle down my cheeks.  Why?  Tears escape because there has been a connection made which just goes deeper than any words could express.

Some tears are like that "release valve" on something under pressure - they give way once the stress on the inside is just too great to handle.  Tears hold a huge benefit for the eye, for without them we cannot keep the eye lubricated, affecting the acuity of our vision.  This means an increase in tears can actually help to improve our "visual acuity".  In a spiritual sense, I wonder if there are times when the "spiritual visual acuity" is being fine tuned, bringing more clarity into our lives where we have not had a good handle on things or they have become a little muddled by all life has been placing in our path?  Tears also express a deep sense of vulnerability - making tears a thing some avoid with as much effort as possible, since vulnerability is not a comfortable thing.

Maybe your most recent tears have been because of some "harshness" you have come up against in life.  It could be a circumstance in which things just got "ugly" and you didn't like the feelings it produced.  I might be you got into a muddle of a mess not of your own making, but which you must find a way to recover from nonetheless.  These are tears which help us to clear our minds and hearts of the feelings we have attached to those circumstances and allow us to begin the process of rebuilding again what seems to have been so easily destroyed by what was clearly out of our control.  It isn't that the emotions are wrong, or that they reveal some sort of "weakness" in you - they come because tough stuff evokes fear, anger, frustration, and even pain. 

You might find your most recent "good cry" actually left you feeling like you could finally get up, put something behind you, and move into a totally new place with an open mind. Maybe this is one of the advantages of tears we don't always see - it sets us free to allow new ideas to emerge, centering us on what now must be.  What has really happened is that we have finally rid ourselves of what must no longer be!  There might not be what "was", but tears give way to what "will be".  In essence, we are saying we are willing to move into a new place, experience newness of life, and see what comes into focus now.  These may be the tears we need most, but regardless of the types of tears you shed next, remember...they are a good thing!  Just sayin!