Anyone who has gone through a loss in his or her life knows what it’s like to shed many tears. I have to admit that with the loss of my husband, I fought more times to hold those tears in than I did with any other loss that I had gone through. Yet, I would tell others how our tears help cleanse our wounds so we could heal.
A good friend of mine asked me why I did not like to cry. My answer was that I supposed it was because it feels so bad. When I would cry, it often would last over an hour and it felt awful. To that she replied, “Well, God gave us those tears so don’t you think you are saying that you do not like something that God gave us. Isn’t it almost rebelling to fight it so much?” That gave me food for thought. I realized that she did have a point. If God gives us those tears, He has a reason for them and I should accept them as a part of my grieving process.
A couple weeks ago I heard a man say that our tears “honor our loved ones.” I never thought about it that way before, but I do agree with him. Hearing that has helped me to not be so embarrassed to shed a few of those tears around others.
With those thoughts in mind I decided to take a further “look” at our tears and crying. There are several places in the Bible where they are mentioned. I googled “tears in the Bible” and found many verses. Tears were mentioned as being shed over many things besides the loss of a loved one. Hannah wept before God because she wanted a child, Esau wept over Isaac. In the Psalms we find King David speaking of his tears. Jeremiah was called the “weeping” prophet. There are many recorded incidences where tears were shed for sins and disappointment.
A friend sits behind me in church used to pat me on the shoulder and say, “God keeps all your tears in a bottle, Kathy. Isn’t that special?” Psalm 56:8 says the following; “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” If God knows how many hairs there are on our heads and if He knows when a sparrow falls, He most certainly knows how many tears we have shed. That is a precious thought to me.
In Genesis 23:2 “Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.”
In John 11:35 we find that Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus.
In Luke 19:41-44 we read Jesus wept. As Jesus traveled to Jerusalem after His triumphal entry, “he broke into loud weeping.” Klaioo is the Greek word used for this weeping and it means to weep audibly, to burst into tears.
I attended a thirteen week seminar called Grief Share. During one of the sessions this question was asked. “What purpose or value, if any, does crying have in recovery from loss?” was asked. The answer stated that crying can represent a physical demonstration of emotional energy attached to a reminder of someone.
When studying about tears, I found that tears really do get rid of toxins in our body. When we keep our emotions inside of us and do not release them, it makes us feel worse. The emotions become suppressed and can cause depression. For me it would cause such a build- up of emotions that I felt deep turmoil. It was only after I allowed myself to cry or sometimes willed myself to cry that I would get relief. I have learned that the reason I felt better after releasing those tears is because crying releases endorphins. These are hormones that act as a mood elevator. Each time I wept I was releasing these hormones and elevating my mood.
I’m sure some of you readers also have struggled with your tears. I can reassure you that God did intend for us to shed our tears and they really do help us heal. I also know that as you allow yourselves to cry, (and by doing so honor your loved ones), you will one day realize that your tears are coming less often and with less intensity. We are all different and grief does not come with an expiration date. Allow yourselves to be YOU and give yourself all the time you need. It does not matter if it has been only six months or two years. Release those tears when they come.
May God bless you. Remember, there will come a day when God wipes all our tears away. Revelations 21:4 “And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying.” Praise His Holy Name!