Tears

Jesus wept.                                                                                                                                                                  John 11:35

Human tears are another of those incredible, intricate gifts of creation. I am continually amazed by what I learn about things we simply seem to take for granted. Tears, for example are more than a salty liquid which indicates our deep emotions. In fact, there are three kinds of tears. One type is for lubricating our precious eyes as a protection against foreign elements and dryness. A second type is a “response tear”. If you have peeled an onion or had smoke get into your eyes, you are familiar with “response tears”.  Finally, there is the type of tear which gets the most attention. It is the emotional tear.

I have read that there are hormones and enzymes in emotional tears which are actually healing when released by crying. Our tears are therapeutic. Indeed, many of my clients will become tearful in sessions, and note that they feel better after the release of crying. Crying is actually good for us, yet we men often go to great lengths to try to suppress the expression of those tears.

Sometimes at movies, I have been known to try to suppress crying. Once, at the end of Les Misérables my neck and chin actually hurt from trying to suppress my emotional response. Yes, that was kind of a dumb thing to do, but hey, I’m a guy.

Seriously though, I do not tend to cry easily, and maybe that is good or maybe not. I do think that the process of crying can be healthy. People often apologize for crying in public. I understand that this shows vulnerability, but it does not show weakness.

Tears are an amazing part of our bodily make-up. Maybe we should celebrate that a little more.

Prayer: Lord, help us to be in touch with the emotions you gave us, and more freely express them, Amen.

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