Tuning Forks and Tears

I appreciate tears! I smile as I wonder, why did God give us tears?

I’m not being morbid here. I’m in a great mood. But earlier today something made me think about how awesome tears are!

Tears are fascinating to me. In some cultures, tears flow freely, in happiness or in sorrow. In others, they are a sign of weakness. Some say men shouldn’t cry. Others say real men cry. Women in public leadership are not allowed to cry. Men in public leadership – well, it depends on the situation as to how the public interprets their tears. Some children cry loudly, some stifle their cries. Supposedly, a good cry cleanses your body from toxins (one of my personal favorite tear-facts!)… There are thousands of other tear-related truths. You are probably thinking of a few right now. (Do share!).

At times, tears are a sign that our heart is resonating with God’s, like a tuning fork. For that moment, we feel Him so closely and sense so strongly what He is saying, that the only response is a deeply emotional one. These resonating tears can make a far greater impact than the most eloquent sermon.

Today I saw an example of that. I saw a church leader so forcefully impressed by God’s love that he struggled to speak, and when he did, tears were the punctuation marks to his words. They were resonating tears. He just wanted us to get it – that ministry is all about people, not numbers, not statistics.

It was comforting, because I know that when we as leaders are aware of our failings, Christ shows up strongly to do His thing.

Which is why, folks, I really appreciate tears!

Facing Loss and Growing

It is now a season of finishing the several books I’ve been reading for the past couple of months. First to the finish line is A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss. It is uplifting and heart-strengthening, though not a quick read. I have been almost done with it for weeks…

Timely. All about loss. Not stock market loss. Not prestige or status loss. Catastrophic loss – loss of a loved one, or perhaps the loss experienced by the suddenly disabled, the irreversible loss a rape victim suffers, or that wrought by hateful violence or even emotional abandonment.

Jerry Sittser, the author, lost his wife, mother and baby daughter in a tragic accident, to a drunk driver, and had to raise his surviving young children as a single father. He wrote this raw and inspiring account of that journey. Very very honest. He concludes:

“The supreme challenge to anyone facing catastrophic loss involves facing the darkness of the loss on the one hand, and learning to live with renewed vitality and gratitude on the other. This challenge is met when we learn to take the loss into ourselves and to be enlarged by it, so that our capacity to live life well and to know God intimately increases. To escape the loss is far less healthy – and far less realistic, considering how devastating loss can be – than to grow from it. Loss can diminish us, but it can also expand us. It depends, once again, on the choices we make and the grace we receive. Loss can function as a catalyst to transform us. It can lead us to God, the only One who has the desire and power to give us life.”

If you have suffered loss, the kind that feels like acid sinking through your pores and a million screams bouncing off the insides of your heart, be it emotional or physical or both – my heart is with you. Breath, take one step at a time… and email me if you need to talk.

If you have not suffered such loss, be thankful, and ask that God make you a conduit of His love to those that have. They are all around you.