Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tears

By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion. —Psalm 137:1

I was raised on the creed of the stiff upper lip, but I'm learning now that there's no shame or weakness in weeping. The best and manliest of men on occasion burst into tears: "Jesus wept" (John 11:35).

The world is full of happy surprises, but it's also a vale of tears. It's unrealistic to suppress our sorrow. Solomon (and Pete Seeger) aver, "There is a time for weeping" (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

George MacDonald describes sorrow as "a wandering woman, a kind of gypsy, always going about the world, and picking up lost things. Nobody likes her, hardly anybody is civil to her; but when she has set anybody down and is gone, there is often a look of affection
and wonder and gratitude sent after her."

I don't understand the dynamic but it seems to be true: Tears can relieve our sorrow. Quite often they’re "the only cure for weeping" (MacDonald).

Tears are not forever, however. One day the last tear drop will fall, sorrow "will be forgot, love’s purest joys restored.” In the meantime, a little crying will do us some good.


David Roper

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