Loss hurts no matter when it comes. Even necessary endings have a way of hurting – though we knew that or they had to go.
As a biblical counselor, tears are a regular part of my day. When people come in my office and feel the freedom to cry, I am honored. I don’t take it for granted when someone shares a vulnerable peace of their life and their tear ducts respond naturally.
I’ve said more than once, “Tears are a way the soul breathes.” I believe that. There is something healing about crying. Here’s why I say that:
- Tears are a deep response to deep pain.
- Tears bring the physical body in alignment with what the emotions (and soul) feel.
- Tears show others the seriousness of what we are feeling.
- Tears are an expression of desperation for something heal or change.
- Tears release some feelings that can’t be released any other way (haven’t you felt that “it felt good to cry” feeling?)
Even Jesus cried when he saw the way people were not getting what God had for them. His heart shattered under the weight of compassion. He also cried when He faced the punishment of God’s wrath for us. He cried so intensely that his blood became “like drops of blood.” This showed outwardly what was going on inside.
Recently a friend of mine told me that she was sitting in the weekend service at our church when a clip from Jim Cymbala was played as he shared about his wayward daughter. This video struck such a cord with her mom and her about a member in their family that they both began to weep.
She said, “I haven’t cried for a long time, but as we sat there crying, it felt so good. We were acknowledging something that went deeper than any words could express. I grabbed my mom’s knee as she clung to my arm. I could feel her tears falling on my arm and hand… I finally leaned over into her and said, ‘you can cry on me, your tears are warm.’”
That is a sweet picture of the healing power of crying. It bonds us. It expresses what words cannot. It moves us to a place of acknowledging our need for God. I know it has been a good day of counseling when I leave my office and notice a trashcan full of tissues. God gave us the ability to cry; tear ducts were a part of his design.