Recently, I was watching a television interview with a woman who began to apologize to the reporter for “almost crying.” I understood that. Don’t let people see your hurt, don’t be a cry-baby.
That was me, seven years before the death of our oldest child. That’s hen everything inside of me underwent radical changes, and these have all been for good in my life. It has been like having my senses heightened to what I have, not what I’ve lost.
I found that I could be vulnerable. Like the shedding of tears. Crying for me was a private affair, something I could control. But that was an illusion that was shattered in the wake of our child’s death.
I discovered that there was never really control as much as the fear of being perceived as weak, or helpless. I did not know then, as I do now, that tears are a gift.
We were designed to feel things perceptibly, emotionally, with our five senses, and that includes pain and suffering.
I’ve heard it said, that no one can really know another person’s sorrow. That can be a lonely thought. Even in a room of caring people who love us, we can feel isolated. But are we ?
In Psalm 56:8, there is something written by King David that is most unusual. “You number and record my wanderings. Put my tears into Your bottle – are they not in Your book? “
The word picture here that grief is so precious, it must be not only written down but collected, saved, never wasted or discarded.
Someone cares when we hurt. Someone knows every drop of liquid sorrow we shed. We are never alone.
God made us in His Image. He wept. He hurt. He became more vulnerable than anyone ever has, and understands us as no one else can. Here is the balm for our sorrow. But we must allow Him in our life, or we risk the infection of bitterness to poison us.
I have met bitter people. They have indeed known suffering, but now they can’t cry anymore. They are dry eyed, and hard. They turned away from the Comforter Who gives Grace, and blame became their focal point and excuse for all the suffering in their lives.
We have to forgive, not only those who have wounded us, but ourselves as well.
For all we could of done, or should have done, in the life of our departed one, must be laid to rest in the arms of forgiveness.
And in that freedom from guilt, or anger, we allow ourselves to cry tears of release from trying to be the judge of all the pain in our lives.
Knowing that tears are like the cleansing of a wound. No matter how much it hurts, there has to be the washing before the healing can begin.
Nothing that happens to us is wasted. My own heart can now bleed for the hurting. I can use my sorrow for good in the lives of others. I can cry openly I can be vulnerable, weak, and most of all, I can know that God has put my tears in His bottle and I am not alone.
Author of, “Broken Gifts”