My eyes burned from the wet sting welling up in them. Then, that familiar lump began to gather in my throat.
“Look up, look up,” I told myself as I tried to get those wet globs in my eye to stay there. I willed myself to try to swallow the softball that had made its home in my throat.
I didn’t want the tears to come, but they did. I quickly swatted them away with my hand hoping no one else had seen. And then? I shoved the emotion down and recomposed myself.
Some of you fight tears much like I do. You don’t like the wetness that falls out of your eyes and makes a stream down your cheeks because it’s often an acknowledgement of pain, sadness or hurt. It means there’s brokenness in your life or the lives of those who are important to you.
And it hurts.
If you and I are similar, this has been a consistent battle throughout your life. You fight it because you don’t like to feel the pain or it forces you to slow down long enough to acknowledge that there is, in fact, hurt in your life. And that’s a hard place to be.
By fighting tears, we naturally build up walls. We place a sign on our hearts and minds that says, “do not enter.” Doing this causes us to run from heartache, shut the door on it and pretend like it doesn’t exist.
But friend, it does exist. Pain is a part of this life. Heartache is a part of this life. It’s the reality of living in a sin-fallen, broken world.
However, good can come from your pain-laced tears.
This past weekend alone, I cried three times. T-h-r-e-e times! This is unheard of in my world and it might be in yours too. As I’ve reflected on the reasons for my tears, the Holy Spirit has reminded me of the beauty in those wet blobs.
My first set of tears came as I stood in a circle holding hands with six other women. We were praying over an event we were each a part of. As I heard the beautiful tune of their voices and their heartfelt words praising Jesus asking for His glory to be made known, tears leapt from my eyes. I didn’t fight it, I let them flow.
When we got done praying, I had to wipe my chin clean from the flood that had happened all over my face. Then, I found the nearest restroom so I could buff out my blush to cover the one line where my makeup had all washed away.
Those were tears of gratitude, delighting in good and right community. They demonstrated the encouragement my heart received from the spiritual giants surrounding me.
My second set of tears came as I stared at a friend later that same day sharing some painfully devastating news with me. My heart ached for her and the pain came flooding out on my face.
Those were tears of heartache and pain for a suffering friend. One that showed her that I cared deeply and immensely for her and what she was walking through.
My final set of tears came on Sunday morning during Connect Group. My husband and I received sudden news that some friends of ours were moving. I was blindsided and wasn’t expecting it. We had built a friendship over the past six years. We’d had our first babies together, shared difficult seasons together and encouraged one another. As soon as class was over, I walked over to my friend, hugged her and again, those wet beads gathered in my eyes and poured out.
Those were tears of sadness and grief. But they showed my friend how much I cared about her and how valued she was.
Tears can say a lot of things when our words can’t.
Weeping from sadness or happiness shows vulnerability, it makes us sensitive to those around us. It shows others that we care and value them. It can truly be a beautiful thing!
However, the most beautiful thing about our tears, is spoken of in Psalm 58:8 when David says this about God,
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Our compassionate Lord sees every single hurt of our heart and knows about every tear that falls from our faces. What comfort knowing that our God sees us in our sorrow and meets us there.
He cares friend, oh how deeply He cares!
And this is why I encourage you to let your tears fall because of the closeness it can bring to the Lord.
God sees your every tear and He wants to be your comfort. So let the tears fall, friend, and rest in knowing that each tear is caught in the compassionate hands of our Savior.