Tears come easily for me. I tend to cry more the older I get, but all tears are not created equal.
There’s the mommy crying that gushes out when the kids are sleeping and I think about how sweet they are, how they’re growing up, and how I can’t stop it.
There’s the I-haven’t-dealt-with-my-issues crying, where I bust out during a Hallmark commercial, or the mad tears that come when I can’t articulate what’s really bothering me. I also tend to cry when I’m embarrassed.
I’ve got artsy tears when I’m moved by someone’s creativity, empathy tears when I hear of someone’s hard time, and sometimes I have the crazy tears that come for no reason at all.
Perhaps the most meaningful tears are ones that show up because of another person’s kindness toward me, especially when I’ve done nothing to deserve it. I try to pay attention to those.
Several months ago, I learned of a prayer ministry at our church. A group of faithful people come to the church building to pray in the quiet of a Sunday morning before all the hustling begins. Sometimes they pray over general sections or perhaps over each row. And sometimes? Sometimes they pray over individual seats.
Individual seats. Maybe even my seat.
When I heard that, the tears made an immediate entrance, completely unexpected. As I glanced around to make sure no one noticed, I forced myself to consider why. It came to me a short time later and I teared up again at the thought: There are people who believe prayer really makes a difference. And they believe on my behalf.
Not to imply I don’t believe. More, to highlight the unmerited favor God has toward me as displayed through people in the smallest of ways: a caring stranger praying for another, getting nothing in return. I sat there in my seat, wondering if a faceless, faithful someone had prayed for me that very morning.
As much as I fight the tears, I am beginning to see them as tiny teachers, small messengers of deeper truths, evidence of a soul that has been moved by another. I am learning to be thankful for them. And to remember to carry tissues.
What brings tears to your eyes?Leave a Comment
Emily, I have the same “gift” of tears. Over the years I have despised it but have finally come to terms (almost fully) with how God uses it in me. I still have occasions where I wish it were not so public or hard to explain but it is a sign of deep, sometimes painful, but useful compassion. How wise of you to seek the meaning. Let us welcome how we have been fearfully and wonderfully made.
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
I share the same “gift”. Although at times I don’t think of it as such. I am moved by my daughter who is profoundly disabled. Her will to just keep going no matter what…well I have no words. I am moved by the kindness and generosity of others. But mostly I am moved by God and his exceptional generosity, mercy and grace. Thank you for the reminder to pay attention to the “why” of the tears.
Blessings and Grace…
I wish I had that lovely gift of tears – although as I have aged they do come a bit more frequently. I am one of those people who can’t really show their emotions easily. I guess it’s because I have always been rather shy.
It is when I get alone that the emotions flow over into tears.
i’m a crybaby too. there’s rarely a time here lately that i can attend worship without tears streaming down my face. i think that’s when we’re deeply moved by the spirit.
For years I could not cry. I did not feel any emotions, everything came out as anger…
When God began healing me and I started to cry again I was so happy.
I never mind the tears now, they come often, for many things, like yours do, and I am thankful,because they mean for me that I am ALIVE and being made whole and free!
Mona Agosto says
I think what brings me to tears and when one of the youth girls comes up to me and said you’re like the Aunt I never had. I tell you things that I don’t even share with her. Or when they do good in school and there parents say you better but the come to me to hear me say I know you could do it I’m proud of you. I love my youth there like my kids I don’t know what I would do without those kids they mean so much to me. I’m so glad this is where God has me because at the end of the day when it’s been crazy I can think of them and I smile. I’m so very proud of them all that it makes me want to cry right now.
I’m a crybaby too. I cry when I see others going through things I have struggled with and overcome. I cry when I read tender & thoughtful words written to me. I cry when my babies bow their heads and pray earnestly in toddler chatter. I cry at the never ending generosity and care given to me from our great big God.
There’s a man at my church, single, about my age. He’s very intelligent and kind, but has had a hard life up until now. I don’t know the details, but he’s been on a road to recovery that our tiny parish has been blessed to witness. Recently, I shared some concern over a family member of mine, and he discretely asked for the person’s name. I was struck by the sudden knowledge that he prays for me and my family on a regular basis. By name. And he adds the names of people I’m worried about. My eyes brimmed with tears then, as they are now writing this. It is such a blessing to be loved so well.
I am a crybaby too. Which it use to bother me but now as I age..I think its part of being a compassionate person and caring about others. I agree its a gift. I to believe God works through me for the benefit of others. Sometimes others sit up and notice..due to our tears. I cry when I see others struggling , but I also find tears in happy times. I will just be thankful for the tears. I sometimes can’t imagine life with out them. OR not feeling. God really has blessed me in so many ways.
What brings tears to my eyes?
~to hear about someone lacking faith, and giving up on God and His timing
~my 5 year old telling me he said a prayer for me while he was at school
~same 5 year old memorizing scripture…easily!
~recognizing the priceless gift of friends who are committed to praying for me
~trusting God and His promises and experiencing His faithfulness for myself
You know how you said that you sometimes cry when your kids are napping because of how sweet they are and how fast they are growing? Yes, I tend to cry during those nap times too….and many times it is for the same reasons as you – but sometimes it is because I don’t think I’m super awesome at being a stay at home Mommy and I want to be better for them. I’m praying about this 🙂
Other things that make me cry?
*Watching the slide show that was played at my wedding – filled with pictures of our childhoods.
*When my parents leave to go back home after a visit. (They live 1200 miles away!)
*Sometimes I cry when my husband tells me how much he loves me.
*When I can totally feel and sense the love of God.
*When I see other people hurting.
*When I hear of other people doing self-less and wonderful things for others.
I could go on and on! I’m a crybaby too 🙂
Blessings to you,
Earlier this week, my daughter was in the hospital for dehydration. So yesterday, when she cried and – I. saw. tears. – I found myself thanking God for them. The tears, I mean. So here I am today, reading your post and thanking God again. For tears. And for your post. Thank you for reminding me that my tears are also a “gift”.
And thank you for putting a name to “creative tears.” I get them too. Like several years ago when I saw “Riverdance” — the perfection of all those feet moving together and pounding the floor! Tears. I was kind of embarassed at the time, but… now I know they were just “creative tears.” 🙂
This post was timely. Yesterday I was moved to unexpected tears by a woman’s kindness. It was as simple as her saying “I see you’re not happy and I want you to be.” I realized we cannot underestimate the value of our love and care, no matter how insignificant it may seem to us. Her simple comments broke a floodgate of emotions – and tears for me that have paved the path for healing and change… and I’m forever grateful (thank you, Toni!) and thank you, Emily for a wonderful post.
Holley Gerth says
Emily, your friendship and grace bring tears (the happy kind). So very thankful for tender-hearted and lovely YOU.
Jenn @ Beautiful Calling says
I have never thought of tears being a gift! I find the older I get, the more I cry! I find when I am burdened for a cause, a person, a circumstance, and I pray, I often cry. When I feel overly blessed I cry, when I am feeling overwhelmed, sad, feel that I have disappointed someone…etc. Crying sems to be someting I do a lot and I am always embarressed about it. But God made us just as we are…so we should praise him for it!
and I carry tissues too!
The Scooper says
Your posts are such gifts. Thank you.
I cry for the same reasons and with greater frequency as I grow older. Unmerited favor is a concept so contrary to my human essence…I don’t know that I’ll every be able to understand it. It makes me cry as well, especially when it’s demonstrated through regular people.
“Tiny teachers.” I love that. There was a year I didn’t cry. After the birth of my 3rd I went through some yucky postpartum stuff and opted for medication…just to function. It helped but for a year I couldn’t cry. After I stopped taking it, I cried like a baby every day and for no reason. I guess they had been locked up and were simply glad to be free. I had taken tears for granted until I no longer had them…it’s a blessing to have them back.
Becky @ Farmgirl Paints says
I love people who cry easily and don’t hold back their feelings. I cry at all of your listed items. Music also moves me. I could be listening to a song and all of a sudden the holy spirit will move me and I’m a mess. I love a good cleansing cry:)
I love your categorizing of tears. I was nodding along the whole time thinking, yes, that’s why I cry, and yes, that’s why a good huggies commercial can get me choked up. I love that you have identified the reasons behind the tears and then the bigger Reason behind that.
I cry at everything! But what moves me more than anything is when I see true kindness and love expressed. Beautiful.
We have a joke at my house that if a bug outside spits, I cry.
I think what moves me to tears more than anything is the grace of God. Knowing He did what He did for ME is beyond imagination. Tears of joy, of sorrow over my sin, of gratefulness for what He’s doing in my life.
FaithBarista Bonnie says
“As much as I fight the tears, I am beginning to see them as tiny teachers, small messengers of deeper truths…”
I must be a life-long student of these messages ;)… I cry over everything easily.
I love your idea of different type of tears, Emily. Very special.
What brings me the most tears are moments I struck with something beautiful that I am in need of. Like an ache that I had forgotten, but recognized it in a special song, a lyric, some words or a scene from a movie. I just saw “The Blind Side” and I bawled from the very beginning. It was a bit embarrassing blowing my nose just 20 min into it! 😉
Harvard Housewife says
This is an awesome post. I starred it and finally have a moment to tell you how beautifully written and on point it was. Oh gosh, now I’m crying. Kidding! but seriously, thanks.