The Gift of Tears

Yesterday I sat with a student in a coffee shop and we both cried. There is a lot of sadness in her life. God has gifted her with the ability to feel the pain others experience. As we talked the coffee shop disappeared – the row of coffee pots and people buzzing around with stir sticks politely quieted and left, the curious busy bee workers swirled right past me – and for a few minutes we were alone with our tears and the feelings of our friends and loved ones who are suffering.

I’ve always despised how easily I cry. I struggle not to equate it with emotional weakness or lack of intellect. I’ve tried various techniques to give myself some measure of control – like pinching myself or reciting the anatomical structure of the eyeball.

Sometimes tears are simple gift I can give a friend I am listening to and they seem sweet and appropriate. But sometimes tears are a maddening phenomenon that rob me of my ability to respond the way I want to.

Just once I’d like to be angry and not have to have an argument that includes blubbering, heaving, speech. I’d love to watch a movie without the kids joking, “Hey. I betcha Mom’ crying right now. Ha Ha! YUP!!!” I’d love to pray during communion and not have to wipe my nose with my scarf.

It was a little gift to me to meet with this girl and see how lovely tears can be and how wonderful it is to feel – even painful things. For some reason God has made some of us to do that. I don’t know how it’s helpful or useful, but I can see that it’s part of the way I am.

And so I go out into the world, Kleenex stuffed in my pockets and a 50% chance of making it through the day with one application of mascara. 🙂


2 thoughts on “The Gift of Tears

  1. Ken Larson says:

    Jess, I can identify. I am easily and quickly moved to tears. I can hardly give a message without tearing up and often need to stop to regain my composer. At some level I have come to terms with and guess that The Lord just gave me more to “share.”

  2. Heidi says:

    I am similar to you too, Jess. I cry just listening to the congregation sing. I also pinch myself to try to stop (so others don’t see me). Tears come very easy to me. I like to think of it as seeing the Lord’s beauty in everything. Appreciating life and the gifts we have.

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