Tears come easily for me. I tend to cry more the older I get, but all tears are not created equal.
There’s the mommy crying that gushes out when the kids are sleeping and I think about how sweet they are, how they’re growing up, and how I can’t stop it.
There’s the I-haven’t-dealt-with-my-issues crying, where I bust out during a Hallmark commercial, or the mad tears that come when I can’t articulate what’s really bothering me. I also tend to cry when I’m embarrassed.
I’ve got artsy tears when I’m moved by someone’s creativity, empathy tears when I hear of someone’s hard time, and sometimes I have the crazy tears that come for no reason at all.
Perhaps the most meaningful tears are ones that show up because of another person’s kindness toward me, especially when I’ve done nothing to deserve it. I try to pay attention to those.
Several months ago, I learned of a prayer ministry at our church. A group of faithful people come to the church building to pray in the quiet of a Sunday morning before all the hustling begins. Sometimes they pray over general sections or perhaps over each row. And sometimes? Sometimes they pray over individual seats.
Individual seats. Maybe even my seat.
When I heard that, the tears made an immediate entrance, completely unexpected. As I glanced around to make sure no one noticed, I forced myself to consider why. It came to me a short time later and I teared up again at the thought: There are people who believe prayer really makes a difference. And they believe on my behalf.
Not to imply I don’t believe. More, to highlight the unmerited favor God has toward me as displayed through people in the smallest of ways: a caring stranger praying for another, getting nothing in return. I sat there in my seat, wondering if a faceless, faithful someone had prayed for me that very morning.
As much as I fight the tears, I am beginning to see them as tiny teachers, small messengers of deeper truths, evidence of a soul that has been moved by another. I am learning to be thankful for them. And to remember to carry tissues.
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