No More Tears

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

    and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

    it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

– Isaiah 55:10-11

Poets have compared the rain to tears

As if the sky itself was crying

And there are times like the day I moved out of my office in Charlotte

That it felt as if the heavens bore witness to my grief

Crying in sympathy with me

And today I am pondering tears as the rain falls outside my window

How they are an emotional release but also a symptom

Revealing something deeper

Sometimes things you have been unwilling to admit

Even to yourself

Most of my life I have had migraines

Often brutal to experience

The pain so acute, it made me tear out chunks of hair when I was a child

Tears bring on migraines, so I have avoided them

Stuffing down my emotions as much as possible

But sometimes tears are impossible to escape

Like a release valve on a steam pipe

They simply come

Unwanted and unwelcome

They come anyway

Why did God give us tears?

At times, like music, they express the inexpressible

Longings and hurts, but also joy and awe

I have been moved to tears at a sunset, the salmon-colored sky impossibly bright

But most often tears come as a result of pain

The sadness and loss too overwhelming for mere words

There was a time I associated tears with weakness

Believing them to be a sign of womanishness

In a culture that values strength and clear-eyed focus

That values male traits over female ones

But God does not give gifts without a purpose

He gave us tears as a gift

I often cry in prayer

And I think those tears help me see more clearly

Washing away the distractions and showing me

What still has yet to be surrendered

To the giver of tears

“You keep track of all my sorrows.

    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

    You have recorded each one in your book.”

– Psalm 56:8

He who keeps our tears in a bottle

Who keeps track of my sorrows

He himself was a Man of sorrow

And acquainted with grief

Can he not understand my sorrows too?

“Jesus wept.”

– John 11:35

Like a child crying over a toy that we cannot have

So often our tears come as a result of our unfulfilled wants

Our failures

Consequences for our own actions

They are the tears of a child, frustrated they cannot have their own way

Yet even then our good Father holds us close

Even then he loves us through our tear-stained faces

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

– Hebrews 4:15

So today I take in the rain outside my window

As I let the tears fall

I surrender the source of my grief

To the one who loves me perfectly

The one who understands loss and pain

And the one who overcame even death

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

– Revelation 21:4

Looking forward to the day when there will be no more tears

Not because we are unable to cry

But because we will no longer have any reason to

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