By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"A New Perspective on Crying"
…a time to weep…and a time to laugh, a time to mourn… (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
This past month, we lost our dog Murphy to a heart attack. One of my daughters was very interested to see whether or not I was going to cry about the whole ordeal. I often joke with her that I may not cry tears but I cry on the inside. I guess that’s the “macho man” perspective I learned from my Hispanic culture growing up. “Big boys don’t cry.” Well, that isn’t true AT ALL. Big boys DO cry. They SHOULD cry. They MUST cry.
Tears help to clear your eye of foreign particles, such as dust and hairs, and keep it from drying out, which would result in blindness. When you feel some emotion such as grief or anger very strongly, the muscles around your lacrimal glands tighten up and squeeze out the tear fluid. The same thing happens if you laugh very heartily. Lacrimal fluid also contains substances that fight bacteria and proteins that help make your eye immune to infection.
(Bagchi, Nandalal. "Tears." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006. World Book, Inc. 23 Jan. 2006)
Solomon says that there is a time for both laughter and weeping. Isn’t it amazing that God created us to produce tears both when we laugh and when we cry?
Solomon’s father, David, had something to say about tears as well. He imagined that God had placed all of his tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).
Our tears are not futile. God knows each of His children intimately, and every tear we shed has meaning to Him. He remembers our sorrow as if He kept each tear in a bottle. In the end, He will share His joy with us when “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Can I get an Amen?
Well, my daughter got her wish. As we laid our sweet dog in his final resting place, I read a relevant prayer. I started out strong and macho with the first line or two, but then I totally lost it. I cried through the rest of the prayer; I’m not sure my family could understand the words at that point.
In times like these, my girls like to remind me of a song we hear on KLOVE radio…
It's ok to cry
It's ok to fall apart
You don't have to try
To be strong when you are not
And it may take sometime to make sense of all your thoughts
But don't ever fight your tears
'Cause there is freedom in every drop
Sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart is when we fall apart
Ryan Stevenson, When We Fall Apart