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Posts Tagged ‘Tears’

They are with us from birth to death, from morning to night.

Tears. The overflowing of moisture from the eyes which originate in their very own ducts, prompted to release and overflow in the presence of pain, or joy, or sorrow, or strong scents or strong emotions.

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Increases in the hormone estrogen can encourage their release, and an increase of progesterone can dry them up.

The Bible speaks, numerous times of tears in relation to Jesus.

From the prophesy in Isaiah 53:3, we know that well before his birth, Jesus the Messiah was to be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. Tears were in the cards for him, right from the beginning.

Interesting, though, that in Revelation, it is not the tears of Jesus that are spoken of, but those of us, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

The shortest verse in the Bible has to do with tears … and Jesus. John 11:35 tells us that “Jesus wept.” Short and to the point, those two words remind us of Christ’s humanity, and of our being like him in our weeping.

When Jesus wept, he did so upon entering the home of Lazarus and finding him to be dead. Though he knew that he could and would raise Lazarus from the dead, facing his friends sorrow, over the corpse of their mutual friend … a corpse is always the symbol of a world in need of a bloody Saviour. So, he wept. He wept for the women there, for Lazarus dead before him, for sin that had swept, uninvited, into the world, for humanity whose only chance was a redeemer. And he wept.

That is not the end of our tear-jerking moments in the Bible, for our tears are of great importance to our God, for he not only sees and hears our cries, but, You (He) keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8).

tears

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

 

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Men and women are so different!
(and this is news?)

Men just do not get us!
(duh!)

Remember the little childhood poem :

“What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That’s what little boys are made of !”

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice
That’s what little girls are made of!”

I’d like to modify the ‘little girls’ part …

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and teary cries
That’s what little girls are made of!

We females cry …

we cry when we are sad, we cry when we are happy,

we cry when we remember, we cry when we look to the future,

we cry when we are hungry, and when we are full,

we cry when we are with friends, and when we are all alone,

we cry when we laugh hysterically, we cry when we are spitting mad

we just cry.

What is misunderstood by the testosterone-filled gender, is the fact that we do not choose to cry (certainly there are those who turn the waterworks on and off like the garden hose, but those are the manipulating few). Most often, for most women, the tears flow naturally … as if estrogen is the main ingredient! When the tears fall, the result is not simply wet cheeks, the main result (as if this was the plan to begin with, by our Creator) is that we females feel better. Oh, the thing that brought on the tears may still exist, but the pressure that had built up prior to the dam bursting is relieved, and we can breathe again.

Revelation 21:4 tells us that, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” This verse does not tell us that He will stop the tears from flowing, but that will wipe them … with a tender, loving wipe of our Father’s hand. He will comfort, He will console, He will empathize.

God ‘gets’ tears, He understands the pressure that builds up in the tear ducts of a woman … that is how He made us. That is how He wanted us to respond as we walk this Earthly existence where leaking from our eyes is how we survive the realities of this world.

Tissue anyone?

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Today I write to, and about our oldest daughter, who is embarking on an adventure away from us. It is not the first, nor will it be the last … but there are no tears.

I have often been teased (goodhearted) about not shedding a tear at her high school graduation. Really, although proud of the hard work she did, graduating was not an academic struggle for her. Oh, she worked her tail off, but graduating was never in doubt for her.

As she prepares, and boards the plane tomorrow for the East Coast (a reversal of her parents from their Easterly homes, to our present Western one), not a tear will be shed. Oh, she has worked hard all summer, some weeks working twelve hour days, but she is going on to a new adventure, one that will include extended family who she has never had the benefit of daily contact.

Over the years, though, there have been tears …

“Let my stories be whispered”

From when you were just a young child, I have been learning to lay you back into the hands of your Creator (A Most Desired Child). This lesson will continue to my dying day, and with many tears.

“I took the path less traveled on”

I remember a few years back, when you decided to go on a mission trip with your church youth group to Tijuana, Mexico. I was so excited for you to have that adventure, to help orphaned children and for you to see how God might use the gifts and talents He has given you.

But …

I was scared you would be murdered or raped or traumatized or kidnapped. So, I drove you to that train station in Seattle. I tried to absorb every last moment with you, fearing it might be our last. I hugged you, told you I loved you. Then I had to watch you walk … away … staying strong. Until I walked from the station, with tears streaming down my face … asking God to go with you.

And then when you told me, just a year ago, of your desire to go to India, to work with the children of Calcutta. I listened to your dreams, asked the right questions. But, when I was alone, the tears streamed down my face, as I asked God to give me the strength to let you live your life. And, one day, I will stand at the airport, holding you and telling you I love you, uttering best wishes, and watch you walk away to board your flight that will take you to the mission of Mother Teressa and the Sisters of Charity, and tears will stream down my face, as I ask God to go with you.

“this life is as fragile as a dream”

That night in April, of 2008, was a night that God tested me. As I stood at the back of a church, knowing only that you were in there, somewhere, after the floor of the church had collapsed (Starfield Concert). After the frantic search, the long drive home, the holding you in bed … I collapsed on my knees and thanked God for giving you to me for another day … and the tears were streaming down my face.

“Cause in this life you must find something to live for”

When you were only three, I remember your voice, as we both knelt at your bed, and you prayed to give your heart to Jesus. I remember feeling such privilege to be there to kneel on that holy ground with you … and the tears were streaming down my face.

And, He goes with you now. You ‘know’ all that that means … and He is something to live for. I need to shed no tears, because this is a new beginning, and He goes with you.

Go with God … or, as they might say in the East, adieu ma fille chérie.

“I’ve always heard, every ending is also a beginning, we just don’t know it at the time … I’d like to believe that’s true.”

This is what we raise our children for …

I think, my firstborn daughter, that you can read between the lines here … think of it as my melody for you these next months. (and there was the shedding of tears in the writing of this post … but they were, selfishly, for my loss in the ending of this phase).

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Woohoo! It was a summer Sunday and I got to skip church, and go to the beach! Could life get better? Sun, sand, surf, and an endless horizon.Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite like that. As a matter of fact there was no sun, not even blue sky. It looked like it might rain at any moment. It was cool, and breezy, and the forecast even had thunder and lightening in it.

I also did not get to skip church.

A twelve-year old friend of my son had invited us to a church service and to his baptism. We arrived, late, but thankfully the service had not yet begun. So, donning our flip flops and opening our camp chairs, we settled in to an outdoor sanctuary (my person favorite).

I cannot remember the songs that were sung. I do remember that the pastor talked about John the Baptist, baptizing Jesus, then his time of being tempted in the desert.

Matthew 3 tells this story.

John the Baptist wore clothes made of camel hair, and he ate locusts and honey … and I am pretty sure there was no chocolate to make the locusts go down easier! He also had just emerged from quite a while in the wilderness, so he probably was quite … naturally scented. If he were here today, he would probably go by ‘Johnny’, and most would see him as the equivalent of a hippie.

His message was, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (v.2)

Then his cousin Jesus, who once set his feet to dancing while in-utero (John Lept), came to the river, and asked John to baptize him too. John was not so cool with that, as he felt way to under-qualified to do the deed. But, since Jesus is Jesus, John consented.

Now, back at MY beach: each of the three who chose to be baptized stood, spoke about why they wanted to be baptized, then whoever wanted to could go up, lay hands on them, and pray for them. It was pretty meaningful as friends, grandparents, and mentors spoke words of thanks, words of affirmation and words of blessing to God, on their behalf.

My son’s friend shared of how a close family tragedy made him look more seriously at his life. His words, though those of a twelve year old, were ones that reflected insight, awareness and desire for what he was choosing to do.

I am sure there were tears in every eye … I just couldn’t see them through my own.

Then people were invited to come and pray for him. His grandfather prayed, another youth prayed, then a familiar voice … that of my son. He spoke to our God as one who knows Him, intimately. He spoke as one who knows his friend, and who wants the very best for his buddy.

… and more tears were shed.

Then we all made our way to the water, where one by one, the three completed their public profession of a life committed to living with Christ, with an endless horizon as their backdrop.

… and more tears were shed.

As my son’s friend came to the edge of the water his mother hugged him, as did his father, who said, “I am proud of you, son” (or something very similar).

Oh, and the rest of the story from Matthew 3 …

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (v. 16-17)

An endless horizon.

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Yesterday I wrote about a story from the Bible where Jesus touched a dead man, but that was not the only significant part of that story.

Luke 7:11-13
Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.””

In this story of Jesus meeting up with a funeral procession, Jesus said to the mother, “don’t cry.”

It is so easy to simply focus on just those two words, but, there is more revealed in the story to give us understanding of what Jesus was thinking when he said those words.

Verse 13 says, “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.””

Jesus was all God, all man. He could laugh, and cry. He could celebrate, and mourn (after all this was not the only person who Jesus raised from the dead. When he heard of Lazarus’ death, he wept, then raised a four-days dead man!). Jesus humanly understood the sorrow that the young man’s mother was suffering, and her suffering tugged at his human heart … as well as at his divine being. Maybe he not only saw, but also felt the heartache that the mother was feeling (Romans 12:15 “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”).

As ‘his heart went out to her,’ Jesus saw the heartbreak, the agony, the loss, and the hopelessness in the countenance of the widowed mother of a dead young man. Her son that was to be her only hope for a future in that society.

Jesus also knew that he, a son, was the only hope of a future for us. Perhaps the mourning that Jesus saw in that woman was a foreshadowing of what Jesus, the Son of God, would experience when he would be separated by death, from his Father.

Then he said, “young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.  They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” (v. 14-16)

And, as the people were all in awe that “God has come to help his people,” those same people knew nothing of the sorrow that He would bare in order to help them, in the very near future. But, He knew.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
Anyone who believes in Me will live, even if he dies.
And those who live and believe in Me will never die.
Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

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