I like that God directs my writing. Since I’ve committed to a blog-a-week I pay closer attention to what’s going on around me, how it affects the people around me, what He’s doing every day and then I write. God touches whomever He sees fit – even if it is only me. Sometimes, an idea (like this one) sits on my notepad, marinating there, waiting for God to say, “It’s time now.” He talks to me in the situations going on in my life and how they touch my HEART.
I believe society has robbed men of the dignity, and importance, of tears. Crying. Weeping. Even sobbing. Somehow we accepted that to be a man we had to be thick and tough. “Men don’t cry,” we were told. We bought into the lie that to be a real man we have to be strong (emotionless) and tough and even, sometimes, crass. We have to “fix things” both physical and emotional. Tears aren’t a part of the equation.
When I first thought of this post I intended to throw “tears” out as a sort of litmus test – it was a bit harsh. I believe God kept this blog on the notepad to give me time to soften the tone. Tears are not a litmus test of our grief nor a litmus test of our brokenness over our sin. They’re more like a barometer. A litmus test, at least for this example, is hard, cold and absolute, a single indicator of what is, at that moment. A barometer, however, is more of an indicator of change, a willingness, if you will, to change.
Often I’ve heard it said that people grieve in their own ways and must be allowed to grieve in whatever manner they deem fit. And I agree. Mostly. Grief is a personal journey and is expressed in many ways. Tears are one way. We lost a beloved Granddaughter this past week. Coraline Freya is now in the arms of Jesus. Our Daughter is, of course, grief-stricken, as is our entire family. The tears roll. The sobs boil over. The heart breaks. Our grief demonstrated in tears.
Sorrow brings tears and so it should. Tears are healing, cleansing and freeing. Tears are also demonstrative. The expression of true, God-like emotion. In His life and ministry, Jesus cried several times that were recorded. He cried for His friends at the death of Lazarus – His empathy with their sadness but also His anger at the sorrow death brings (John 11:33 AMP). He cried for Jerusalem at His “Triumphal Entry” because of what Jerusalem had become Spiritually (Luke 19:41 AMP). God cried. God on Earth was moved to tears. The Son of God, God Himself, cried.
I think the same is true of brokenness. When we truly begin to realize the depth of the anguish our betrayal has caused our wife, should we not be broken? Should the grief of that understanding not break us to the point of sobs? For me it is usually in prayer when this reminder of the anguish, pain and shattered heart I’ve inflicted on Lynn rolls over me. It is a regular reminder I will never go there again. Do I stay there in the shame and guilt of my history? NO! That’s not the point at all. It is here that the grief co-mingles with the GRACE, the pure, perfect Grace of God the Father and Jesus’ Salvation on the cross for me. This co-mingling of grief and joy wash over me with the power of a huge ocean wave. The tears flow, often to the point of sobs, and it is cleansing.
Tears are healing and cleansing and freeing. They are also demonstrative. They demonstrate a depth of empathy and understanding. Words are limited. Tears are heart language. Are tears a litmus test to show our depth of grief? I no longer think so. I believe they are a barometer. I believe this with all my heart: without brokenness, you have no Freedom. Without tears, your brokenness has no voice.