Tears are a gift. They allow us a way to release our emotions and share our overflow of feelings with others. Most of us cry when we are sad, some of us cry out of anger or even exhaustion. We even have times when we cry out of sheer joy. Scientists say that "happy" tears are chemically different than the ones that fall out of sadness. What an amazing Creator we serve!
John 20:15-16 recounts a very tender moment. Mary has gone to Jesus' tomb but when she does not find him there, she weeps because she thinks someone has taken his body away. While she is crying, she hears a voice that says, "Dear woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?" She believes Him to be the gardener and asks Him where He has taken the body. Then Jesus speaks her name and she recognizes Him. I am not sure, but I would imagine that her tears became those of joy rather than of sorrow at that moment.
When infants are born, we long to hear their first wails. It is reassurance of the life that is inside of them and that their lungs are working well. Then we find ourselves kneeling by their cradles and praying that their sorrows and hardships in life will be few. I remember well taking my tiny daughter to her well-checks and sobbing along with her as she received her vaccines. The fact that my child was in pain, even for just a moment, broke my heart. If we love our children that deeply, how must Almighty God, who is the very epitome and definition of love, feel when He witnesses His children weeping?
My personal belief is that when Jesus spoke to Mary in the garden, His voice was compassionate and comforting. It was a moment that showed His reaction to tears. And I believe with all my heart that He reacts to each of us the same way when He sees us in pain or sorrow. Just as he said to Mary, He says to us, "Why are you crying?" He wishes us to know that He is beside us and is ready to take us into His holy arms to comfort us.
Why do I believe that tears matter so much to Him? Because the verse for today is very specific in mentioning what will be gone forever in Heaven. It lists tears, death, sorrow, crying and pain. If they were not important to Him, why would He call them out and reassure us that they would come to an end?
Another verse that shows the importance of our tears is Psalm 56:8 which says, "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." The Bible, our love letter from God Himself, makes sure we understand that He sees, hears and cares when we cry. The Author of all that is, is touched when we weep. How precious is that?
We all go through moments that bring us to our knees, that make us feel as though there is no end to the amount of tears that will flow from our eyes. In those moments though, our Savior is there beside us. In the times when we feel most alone, we are far from it. He cares and His compassion has no end. We can each go forth in confidence that no tear is unseen and they are of the utmost importance to the One who created them in the first place.
Why are you crying? Listen for Him to call your name. God bless.