In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Healing Tears

Tears can bring healing.

Yet so many of us were thoroughly steeped in the tradition of being strong, hearing that we either needed to "take it like a man", or that "big girls don't cry". That somehow our grief was wrong.

I can remember for years how I sublimated my pain and grief; how I only let it come out when I was reading a book or watching a movie. Then, while alone and reading, or in that dark movie theater, I would let myself vicariously experience the pain of someone else, and cry. That was my relief valve.

Through the years God has shown me the value of grieving, morning, and shedding tears. I've learned that it's an easier pain to just go with it for a time, to allow myself to feel the hurt. I've found that the pain will not consume me to such an extent that I will never be able to function again. That I can just let it out and receive God's comfort. I've experienced feeling through the pain to the other side when I can move on in life, past the pain.

Just recently, for a reason about which I am unclear, God is bringing me back to teaching about tears. As I'm studying the book Captivating by Stasi Eldridge with some friends, I've been reminded of a long ago favorite Bible passage from Psalm 56:8-10 (NLT):

8 You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.

Sometimes life just hurts. We all know it.

I'm so grateful that we have a God who is moved by our sorrow, for whom we are so important that He who created the universe takes note of each tear. I adore this quote from St. Augustine in his Confessions:

"The tears...streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would, making them a pillow for my heart. On them it rested."

Grief, tears, expressions of mourning - they all are a form of validation. They say that the hurt mattered. I'm grateful to know that the hurts matter to God as well.

What's something God's taught you about tears?

23 comments:

Mc Allen said...

Ive read the book and bought copies for 5 people last year and then last week I found the cd's at a used book store, I was sooo thrilled!! What a great reminder, thank you!! xxoo LA

Crystal Mary said...

I have learnt that sorrow makes you appreciate what you have and brings life into a different perspective. It makes you appreciate and humbles you to realise your need for Him.
People often forget God in the good times. Yet they cry out to Him in sorrow and pain.
Blessings Crystal Mary

Mike said...

I've learned that holding back tears makes one's head swell.

GCT said...

If god is moved by your sorrows, he seems to not be moved enough to actually do anything about them.

Consider that god doesn't have to record your tears, since they would have already been known to him before he started the universe (being omni-max and all). Thus, god would have known all the sorrow and suffering that would occur and has allowed it to happen as it has. Your tears may not be as bad as someone else's tears, so it may not matter so much to you personally, but to others who really suffer, why does god allow such suffering? Actually, it's worse than that, because with god's foreknowledge not only would he be allowing it, but he would have created the universe and all the situations that led to it. So, not only is god keeping track of your sorrows, but he also helped to create them.

Can you really be sure that such a god is "on your side."

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh Tracy....this stopped me in my tracks

"
I can remember for years how I sublimated my pain and grief; how I only let it come out when I was reading a book or watching a movie. Then, while alone and reading, or in that dark movie theater, I would let myself vicariously experience the pain of someone else, and cry. That was my relief valve."

I never realized that this is exactly what I do!!!

What comfort it is to know that God is so faithful and ALWAYS on our side.

xox

GCT said...

If god is so faithfully and always on our side, does the "our" in that sentence not include those who are killed by natural disasters, disease, famine, plague, etc? How about those who are the victims of violent crimes?

May said...

Absolutely tears can bring healing. I know it about tears all so well. I have an award for you Tracy.

May said...
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May said...
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photogr said...

A good cry for me although very rare certainly helps get out the frustrations I may have. It helps release my tensions and hate built up thus allowing the ability to have a clearer view of what I really am. A follower of Jesus.

Being Me said...

Agree sometimes life just hurts, living just hurts and even love hurts.

There is a purpose in sorrow. We learn to live again a little stronger.

Deborah Ann said...

I stumbled upon a really great article a while back about tears. I have no idea what happened to it, but it said something to the effect of our tears being used by God in a similar way as our prayers. Tears can be very powerful!!! Keep up the good, wet work!

JD Curtis said...

If god is moved by your sorrows, he seems to not be moved enough to actually do anything about them

You forgot to add, "in MY timeframe and in the way I demanD that you do it God. HOP TO IT COSMIC SLAVE!"

Consider that god doesn't have to record your tears, since they would have already been known to him before he started the universe (being omni-max and all). Thus, god would have known all the sorrow and suffering that would occur and has allowed it to happen as it has

And what if sorrow entered your life through a series of truly bad decisions that you made? Should God have not let you experience sorrow and instead rewarded you for making stupid choices?

GCT said...

"You forgot to add, "in MY timeframe and in the way I demanD that you do it God. HOP TO IT COSMIC SLAVE!""

I'm sure it's of great consolation to victims of diseases and natural disasters that god was gonna stop those things from happening, but he just hadn't gotten around to it yet. I'm sure it's even more consolation to those who are victims of violent crime. I'm sure it's very comforting to know that god would stop someone from being beaten or murdered if only it were on his timeline.

"And what if sorrow entered your life through a series of truly bad decisions that you made? Should God have not let you experience sorrow and instead rewarded you for making stupid choices?"

There's so much wrong with this, it's hard to know where to start.

Natural evil has nothing to do with our personal choices.

Evil done to us is usually not the result of our personal choices (unless you really think that the way a woman dresses means that she deserved what she got...which I wouldn't put past you).

Finally, even if it were the result of our choices, god has divine foreknowledge and knows that this suffering will occur and does nothing to stop it. I'm sure that if you knew one of your children would make the spectacularly bad choice of playing with a loaded gun and ended up shooting herself in the face that you would shrug your shoulders and say, "Well, I knew I could stop it, but she made her own bad choices. Should I have not let her experience sorrow and instead reward her for making stupid choices?"

May said...

Stopping by to say to say hello. May you day be filled with peace. Have a blessed day!

JD Curtis said...

You're not addressing that which I brought up G.

Let's try again. I'll even try to clock down to your speed so that you might understand what I am asking you.

"what if sorrow entered your life through a series of truly bad decisions that you made? Should God have not let you experience sorrow and instead rewarded you for making stupid choices?"

If you need any help understanding this question, please post you question first and we'll take a look at it.

Insofar as your "way a woman dresses" reference, even I am amazed at how quickly your mind went from 0-rape. Do my earlier criticisms of what you try to pass off as argumentation not withstand scrutiny?

GCT said...

JD,
I did address your points. Let me simply refer you back to my previous comment. If you need help interpretting why it addresses your post, feel free to ask clarification questions. But, don't deign to talk down to me when it is you who is not following the conversation.

JD Curtis said...

Interesting,

I asked..

"what if sorrow entered your life through a series of truly bad decisions that you made? Should God have not let you experience sorrow and instead rewarded you for making stupid choices?"

Sorrow can enter one's life through making bad decisions like (Examples)

Not setting enough aside for a "rainy day"

Placing too much trust in someone who has not really earned such trust

Placing too much trust in someone who has not really earned such trust in spite of certain warning signs that you shouldnt be doing so

Bad business decisions

Overreacting and later feeling bad about it

Regret for not spending as much time with someone as you could have in the limited time that we have here in our Earthly existance

And there are many many more examples that could be cited

Might sorrow serve an instructive purpose in many instances?

GCT said...

Like the bad choice of happening to live somewhere where a natural disaster occurs and learning your lesson through death?

Or maybe it's the bad choice of the person who is randomly murdered and the lesson they learn from death (or their family members learn from the senseless death of their loved one)?

Or maybe it's the bad choice a child makes to play with a gun and the lesson they learn through death, right?

JD Curtis said...

But youre changing the subject GCT.

I cited several different examples and then asked, "Might sorrow serve an instructive purpose in many instances?"

I didnt eliminate the possibility of sorrow occurring outside of the examples (and there are ohers) that I cited.

Now, going back over my list of examples from my 9:03 entry, wouldnt you agree that sorrow may "serve an instructive purpose in many instances?"

GCT said...

No, I've not changed the subject - that's your job. Can some people react in different ways to sorrow including learning lessons and changing behaviors? Yes. Does that change anything or absolve god of his cruelties and moral failings? No, not in any way. Thanks for playing.

JD Curtis said...

No, I've not changed the subject - that's your job

No GCT, that's exactly what you did. In response to my direct question at 3:00 on 4/9, "what if sorrow entered your life through a series of truly bad decisions that you made? Should God have not let you experience sorrow and instead rewarded you for making stupid choices?" You never answered it at all. You simply stated, in effect, "God is bad for not dirrectly intervening".

Attempt #2, what if sorrow entered your life through a series of truly bad decisions that you made? Should God have not let you experience sorrow and instead rewarded you for making stupid choices? Please try to answer this in a Yes/No format and we'll take it from there. Given your past evasiveness, I hardly expect you to answer the question though being that it will show your position to be one of complete nonsense. Try it genius. Yes or No.

At 9:03 on 4/13 I asked, "Might sorrow serve an instructive purpose in many instances?"

You instead cited instances that were mere appeals to emotion and did not answer the question at all.

Attempt #2, "Might sorrow serve an instructive purpose in many instances?" Yes or No?

Thanks for playing

IS that what you write when you've acted juvenile by dodging direct questions and answering with questions of yur own rather than actual "answers"?

I guess I should be grateful. At least it doesnt pertain to some sort of Fruedian slip, sexual assault reference as has become the norm for what passes for argumentation on your behalf.

GCT said...

JD,
"No GCT, that's exactly what you did."

It's not my fault that you can't keep up with the conversation.

"Try it genius. Yes or No."

Try reading what I wrote sometime.

If you wish to contend that sorrow is here on this world in order to be instructive, then you have to tell me what is so instuctive to the person who dies through their "bad choices." You opened the door, so own up and follow through. Defend your argument and astound us all instead of attacking my character which seems to be your only line of defense.

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