I get teary this time of year. Not sad, exactly. More like thoughtful.
Fall turning over into winter brings out the beautiful melancholy, that may be part of it.
I think it also has to do with the season of thanks and giving, the anticipation of advent, the deep knowing that Christ is our hope and it’s not because I did anything to deserve it.
Over the past several years I’ve been intentional to consider those times when I get teary. Not to over-analyze or find meaning where there isn’t any. Rather as a way of listening to what touches my soul.
Tears are the simplest way to listen for your life.
Recently I spent some time in the mountains of North Carolina serving as a retreat speaker at The Cove. Our worship leader for the week was Bryan Morykon, a singer, songwriter and self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist. Our first night together as a group, Bryan sang his new-to-me song, and as I listened, I was reminded of an old, sacred truth:
“Be kind to one another. Jesus will show you how.
You’ve got to keep those words of life in your heart
so they spill right out of your mouth.”
–Bryan Morykon, Be Kind
He sang the gospel that night.
Instantly, all of my relationships seemed so much less complicated. As the simple tune weaved its way into my heart, I remembered again what it means to love, to forgive, and to depend on Jesus. And my thankfulness showed up as tears.
Simple words with a simple melody carrying a profound truth.
It’s becoming more important to me to consider those moments when I tear up with respect rather than dismiss them or worse, apologize for them.
I wonder what it might look like for you to consider when the tears debuted from the depths within you? Was it a song lyric? A kind gesture from a friend? A question from a child? A line in a movie?
When was the last time you felt the stinging gift in your own eyes, this most natural reminder that you are alive, here, human?
Maybe it’s been a while for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the next time the tears rise up to meet you, don’t brush them aside.
Greet them, receive them, and listen for the life they bring.
The song I quoted here is from Bryan’s album, The Smallest Seed, which is available to download for free right now!