Recently I shared ideas in a program at the Methodist Church in Havre, Montana, on grief, depression, faith and healing. I enjoyed renewing acquaintance with a friend whom I had not seen for about 45 years, and her arrangements brought in a group of very nice people who appreciated what I had to offer.
The only cloud In this sunny scene was that due to fatigue and recent events, I was often teary. The people were understanding and sympathetic, but it does hamper a program a bit when the speaker is dealing with tears.
Dealing with tears gave me reason to contemplate the place of tears in our lives. We all know that tears are at times frustrating and at times embarrassing, but more often they are outward signs of God-given emotions which play a mostly healthy role in our lives. As babies and toddlers, we cry a lot, sometimes as the only means of communication, but as we age we work on control of tears, saving them for serious sadness.
Then where do tears fit into the adult Christian life? First, because we know from Scripture that Jesus wept over Jerusalem and we always do well to follow Him, we know that tears are appropriate when we are hurt and grieving as He was for His people. Second, any time that we commit to loving and caring for people – one of Jesus’ new commandments – we are going to experience not only joy but sorrow and the tears that accompany sorrow.
Just as He calmed the storms, Jesus promises comfort in our life storms. He was always – and is always – sympathetic toward people and understanding of their sorrows. When we cry either openly or inside, we should feel His arms around us and His compassion radiating through us. Sometimes it is His will that these tears be healing, and that should give us hope.
Finally, it is significant that one of the descriptors of Heaven in the Bible is that it is a place where tears will come to an end, along with pain and sorrow. What a promise! While we accept suffering, sorrow and tears as part of the human condition, we can look forward to the day that He takes all of those things away. Hallelujah!
I just want to continue to share ideas about grief and life with people who long as I do for comfort and understanding.