I am using a devotion book this year called A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God and it has spoken profoundly into my life in such timely ways. One of the readings this week has been on the power of tears. I’ve experienced lots of tears of late for so many different reasons. Tears of joy when UNC beat Duke in the semi-final of the ACC Tourney. Tears of frustration as UNC lost to Virgina in the Acc Tourney final. Tears of love as I attended a beautiful wedding filled with love and tenderness. Tears of sadness as we have shared with Centenary my departure in a few months. Tears of confusion. Tears of anger. Tears of sweet kindnesses experienced. Tears of admiration from watching a movie. Tears of happiness from watching a frolicking kitten bound around the condo.
Wendy Wright shares that the ancient East had an interesting understanding and interpretation for the different types of tears we might experience. They had all kinds of different spiritual categories and interpretations for tears in our lives. Some tears have spiritually purifying power in our lives. So someone just experiencing a spiritual renewal these purifying tears would feel differently than for someone who has been traveling long on their faith journey and felt the refiners fire multiple times in their lives. But both are purifying experiences.
Some tears purify us by convicting us of sins and brokenness that we have participated in or experienced. But sometimes our tears purify us by coming from a place of deep gratitude and joy when we think about the true goodness of God’s love for us or our desire to live eternally with Jesus.
No matter how our various tears would have been interpreted by the Easterners, they would without a doubt claim that tears are a God-given gift to us and a wonderful physical sign that our inner world or self was being transformed. For those who have been following along our Lenten series on Renovation of the Heart here at Centenary, the whole point is seeking that inner transformation that being a Jesus follower brings about in our lives. This ongoing cleansing that takes place as a person draws nearer and nearer to Jesus can sometimes happen without us noticing all of the signs of change within us. But our tears? When they blind our eyes and then fall on our cheeks when we blink and roll down the sides of our face. Well they can become signs and reminders of our baptismal waters redeeming us, a small piece of God’s good creation in this world, again. The power in our tears.
Grace and Peace,