Everyday Spirituality

Archive for January 23, 2012

Where are Your Tears Stored?

Psalm 56: 9

…my tears are stored in your flask;

are they not recorded in your book?

It is suggested that since tears are precious to God they are saved. The whole idea of saving tears has been floating around in my mind this week. It does seem precious and tender to save ones tears. They hold such intimate moments of our life.

A few weeks ago while out shopping I came across this petite clear glass bottle, like an old fashioned perfume bottle. It had a lovely glass stopper that just rested in the outer lip. Nothing was actually keeping the stopper in place. The bottom of the stopper reached deep down inside the tiny bottle. Of course if the bottle had been filled with ones favorite perfume the stopper would have been touching the fragrant liquid.

I think a beautiful crystal perfume bottle would be most appropriate for storing tears. Tears curiously stream forth from our eyes for many different reasons. We cry when we are happy, we cry when we are sad, we even cry when watching a television show knowing it is not reality. We cry when we witness the tears of others. So many different circumstances cause tears to well up in our eyes.

I have written about tears here before, but I have decided that even if the tears do not fall from my eyes or trickle down my face the emotion is present. If the emotion that generates moist tears is real then the emotion too must be considered precious.

The psalmist is trusting that God is truly concerned about his life…his trials and tribulations so much so that he would collect the tears and actually take time to journal their meaning. I really like that image, however trivial it may seem…God caring enough to record my most intense emotional reactions.

I know God does not need to keep a journal of what happens in my life. For a minute though just imagine if he were to keep such a book; it would be astounding for him to record something as small as tears. I am reminded of 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast your cares on him, for he cares for you.” I know he truly does care for me.

I am going to get this little perfume bottle and put it where I can see it often; maybe on my bedside table. I want to be able to glance at this fragile symbol. I want to be able to visualize collecting my tears, either real or those in my heart, into this little bottle. I want to cherish my tears of sorrow and my tears of joy.

No one can say why we as humans have this ability to cry. We even cry when chopping up onions, but you know those are not the tears I am speaking of today.

Perhaps I should also record in a special book those times when I cry or feel like crying. Tears are so personal. Some people try to hide the fact that they are crying, others allow the tears to flow freely oblivious to where they are. I would have to say I am more private with my crying. I keep them to myself.

Since the death of my friend I have given much thought to tears. I think when you accompany a loved one on their journey with a terminal illness you learn special coping skills. So many times when you want to cry you do not, but rather you put on the cloak of hope. This cloak of hope gives you the strength to support your loved one. Somehow part of this hope for me was not to cry or at least not to let her see me cry.

We never talked about crying even in the most intimate conversations we had together. As her illness became more devastating I did not want to cry I just wanted to spend as much time as I could by her side.

When her death did finally come it was almost anti-climactic for me to cry. How could I cry? I had been praying for God to take her to be with him. Tears would not change the fact that I had to release her earthly presence. Now she knows how my heart was flooded with tears no tissue could absorb.

To truly love someone means

there may come a time when you must let them go.