For over forty years I’ve been trying to figure out life. I’ve shed all kinds of tears in that life span.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve began to realize sometimes the tears I’ve shed aren’t worth sharing with anyone. They are there to just help me release stress from my struggles in life. When I was little I needed attention if I cried. If I skinned my knee or hurt my finger I insisted on attention from someone, especially Mom or one of my big brothers.

Now if I cry it’s usually at night when I’m about ready for sleep. I don’t want anyone to know. The only person would be my husband and that’s just if it wakes him up. Even then most of the time I don’t want to talk about it. It’s just circumstances that fall to me in life. As an adult there are a couple of other family members I would honestly vent on. And then there’s God. God already sees my tears so I’m not gonna keep them from Him. So when tears come and I’m alone I’ll gripe at Him either in my thoughts or sometimes even blurt out harsh words.
I’ve shed all kinds of tears in my life. There are two catagories, unselfish tears and selfish ones. There are the “I don’t understand why” tears. There are sympathetic tears shed for another. There are tears that are cried because we feel sorry for our self. There are tears that have been cried because of great physical pain. There are times in life when we cry perplexing tears that are meant to be happy and sad at the same time. There are tears of regret we can have as we look back over our past. There are heated tears that have been cried coupled with anger because you’ve been treated unfairly. Then there are what I would call “pull at your heart string” tears. These tears are not caused by a circumstance impacting our life but rather by hearing a good story, seeing a heart wrenching movie scene, or reading a good book. Then finally, there are the tears shed for the greatest joys of our lives.
Let me give you some examples from what I’ve seen.
–When I found out my son had a condition requiring medication for all his life I cried because I didn’t understand why God did this to us. Now as my 12 year old son’s life has begun to unfold I can see some good that has come from our struggles that would not have happened otherwise.
–My children as toddlers have shed “feel sorry for me” tears, for example after they smashed their finger a little they would walk up to me holding it up and then I would ask them if I can kiss it, they would nod and as soon as I gave it a kiss they are contented and ready to go and play. When you’ve been an adult for awhile you figure out such tears are selfish and can be cried alone with only God’s awareness present or not at all.
–A few times in my life I’ve cried tears to have sympathy for another. Once when the district attorney in our city died suddenly from a massive heart attack, I cried when they announced it at church. I cried for his wife and family. I cried that such a man of godly character no longer could impact our city. I cried for the ending of the impact he had had on poverty stricken young influentual boys that he taught in Sunday school.
–I’m sure every one has cried tears from having too much pain. In fact, they may even come without you want to show them. A trip to the dentist will cause this to happen to me. If then dentist scrapes on a tender part of my gum I may shed a tear and not even want to.
–I’ve shed tears at times in my life because I’ve been happy and sad at the same time. A few years ago I seriously thought of how my children had grown. They ages are close together. And my youngest, Ginny was outgrowing the ability to sit comfortably on my lap. It became obvious my children had grown out of their innocent small childhood years. They were also becoming more responsible with their actions and they understood better why we go through certain rituals in our daily lives. They were no longer the little kids who ran around recluttering the living room I had just cleaned spottlessly! I cried when I thoroughly thought through their growing out of being very dependant on their mother but was also happy because it’s healthy and normal for them to grow into a new stage of life.
–An even better example of perplexing tears would come from a mother who is sending her 20 year old son off to fight in the waron terror. She sheds great tears of fear for his life but also cries tears that overflow from the proudness in her heart she feels as he stands handsomely in his uniform as a man ready to take on the responsibility of protecting the freedom of our country.
–If you lived to my age I’m sure you have had tears of regret. There are decisions from your past that haunt you. You think maybe if you just would have made a better decision life would be better now. And sometimes life just isn’t turning out like you were trying to make it work out. When these heated tears have come in my life it’s usually coupled with anger.
–I’ve definitely had some “pull at your heartsrings” tears. Sometimes I just like to have a good cry. When I watch the video “Can” with the father son team who run marathons together I cry just about every time.
–Save the best for last, and that is, tears of joy. Why in the world did God make tears that are usually shed for reasons of sadness to be also used to show great joy. The best reason I can think of is, tears can be used in general as an overflow of expressing great emotion. The best example I can give of tears shed in great happiness in my life occurred with each of my four children. After being pregnant for a few months I would go to the doctor for my monthly visit. And the very first time I would hear my tiny baby’s heartbeat the tears would fall even though I didn’t even try to make them come. Their existance was confirmed by hearing the the quick paced beat of their heart.
When David, from the Bible was overtaken by his enemies, the Philistines, he cried out to God in tears. This is what he wrote from the King James version of the Bible in Psalms 56:8 and 9:
8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
I have confidence that God remembers my tears in all of eternity, whether they are selfish or unselfish because I know He loves me greatly, even much more than a parent loves his child. But I also know this, God has also allowed circumstances in my life that brought heart aching tears throughout different times in my life.

1 Comment

  1. aimee

    October 6, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    Dear Linda,
    That post was beautiful.
    Thank you,

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