I used to think crying was a sign of weakness. Too “girly”. Or something. I’m not exactly sure what my problem was. But I made it a point to do my best to avoid it, and was quite proud of myself when I couldn’t remember the last time I’d cried. I was tough. I didn’t need to cry. Everything was fine. I could handle it.
Or could I?
Something happened to me several months ago, something very good. I got in way over my head. And I couldn’t handle it. And I cried. Hard. It hurt. I could not see any way out of the mess I seemed to be in–at least not any way that did not involve tremendous pain. And so, I cried. But it was a different sort of crying. It helped. It was the kind of crying that comes when you reach the end of you, and you need God. The kind where God meets you, and you suddenly find that you have strength to go on: His strength.
(Later I found out someone had prayed I’d start crying again… Still trying to decide whether or not that was kind… :D)
So, I started learning. Or rather, God started teaching me. Crying, especially the sort of crying I’m talking about, is actually a sign of strength… in an odd sort of way. It is humbling, especially for someone who used to avoid crying. It declares that you have reached the end of yourself, and it forces you to run to God for help. It is a prayer–a desperate crying out to God: straight from the heart.
I have learned that many of my best prayers have come through tears–Tears for other people’s pain, tears for my own pain, tears for my sins.
It is freeing and refreshing, somehow. (Even if you do get awful headaches sometimes and even if your nose will drip.) It brings healing and peace.
Now, I still don’t advocate crying excessively. For one, your head will always hurt, and for another, you’ll use up all the tissues. Okay okay. Seriously, it isn’t a good habit to cry over everything and anything. But if you have a good reason to cry– for instance, you’re praying about abortion, or you see the horror of your sin and are repenting, or you know a friend is going through hard times, or you yourself are pained–don’t hold it back. Let the tears come. But don’t just cry–cry out. To God.
He’s used to it–just look at Hannah, or David, or any number of others in the Bible. Just sayin’… if they cried out to God like that, surely we should follow in their example.
God knows we are dust: He knows we are miniscule (way better than we do, heh.): He knows we can’t do it. And He loves nothing more than when we come to Him broken and humble, pleading with Him for help and forgiveness.
So go ahead–cry every once in a while. You have my permission. 😉
Just make sure you’re crying to the Right Person, for the right reasons.
Oh, and please: don’t forget to put your smile back on when you’re done. Okay? Okay. Thank you.