“go to your room…and come out when you’re happy.” those words still sting. but it was all my mother knew to do with me. at some point during those early years of my childhood, the message clicked…i was too much. my emotions needed to be reigned in, pushed down. minimized.
i was complicated and my mom preferred simple. to be fair, i do remember crying a lot as a young girl and adolescent. i guess i had no other way of letting out the tension.
the tension i felt from my earliest memory of longing for the world to make sense.
now, as an adult, i think i’m beginning to understand the purpose of crying. after all, we come into this stark world with an abrupt tearing of flesh. and a wailing infant is not only permissible but healthy. babies have no words…so we let them cry.
God knew that our little human hearts and souls would need an outlet, even when words eluded us. He knew that tears would come in response to living, and feeling, and confusion, and loss.
when i think back to growing up, i’m not 100% sure why i cried so much. but i have a hunch it’s for the same reasons i cry about today. it’s when my head and my heart can’t come to terms with each other. emotions are amiss, unsettled and don’t make sense. so they rattle around inside…trying to find a way out.
like loose ends of an unraveled blanket, there are just too many threads to manage or contain. it’s a frayed mess. and it feels too much sometimes.
i feel too much sometimes.
and my glossary of words falls short sometimes.
and that’s ok. because that’s when the tears speak the words for us. and God hears what the tears are saying. He sees through. right through our angst and into our hearts. even if it feels muddled and frayed. then, He collects every tear…
the quiet ones we shed in ache. the tender ones we whisper in contrition. the loud ones we wail in grief. the angry ones we shout in torment. the desperate ones we cry in sickness. and the broken ones that just roll down our cheeks in response to being weary and tattered. they are all somehow holy.
and He doesn’t miss a single one.
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in Your book. Psalm 56:8 The Message
what a crazy notion that the God of the universe not only understands our tears, collects and counts them…but also intended for them to be the manifestation of our sorrows when words fail. and when we cry and cry out He doesn’t send us away . He doesn’t send us to our rooms when we are filled with confusion and threadbare. instead He pulls us in. closer. wiping away every tear and holding us to His breast in comfort…saying ” bury your head in my shoulder and cry until the tears run out. they are beautiful and necessary and kept . I won’t miss a one. ”
for Maddie who came into this world 19 years ago today and made it a more beautiful place.