Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beauty Through Tears

I can distinctly remember the first words I said to my firstborn child. I have watched them a number of times on a less than stellar home video now almost 19 years old. I didn't greet her by name. I didn't say some welcome message I'd practiced beforehand. I didn't sing a song.

I looked down into that face I didn't recognize but knew would forever change my life and said, "It's ok. You can cry. Go ahead and cry. It's ok, darlin'."

Now before I wax eloquent on any inner meanings of these words, I think I was just telling Olivia I wanted her to be sure to cry loud and proud for the sheer health of it in being a newborn and exercising her lungs and all. I did read lots of books while awaiting her arrival after all! Didn't want that mountain of information to go to waste.

Yet what I can't help but see in those first words to my oldest was an assurance her tears were ok. Crying was not something to be held back -- though the idea of a newborn holding back tears is essentially preposterous.

Unlike the classic newborn, I have spent many years holding back tears. I have found the idea of having a good cry to be a great one in theory. Unfortunately the practice of unleashing tears is far less simple.

Seems to me that tears are often treated as more of a joke than a cleansing emotion. We often tease about the "ugly cry"and faux mock those who have one in order to maintain our own sense of "holding it together" or "saving face" to some extent.

I'm definitely in that camp more often than not. Frequently, I have shrugged off the need for a cry by flippantly declaring "If I start crying, I don't know how I would ever stop." Some days I do wonder what I would do if I completely let go and cried over all I have experienced in my journey.

I guess that's why the verse above reached out and grabbed me today when I was contemplating an aspect of beauty I wanted to overlook. I didn't want to talk about my tears. I didn't want to think about how my ability to leave a trail of beauty isn't marred but rather shaped and texturized by the tears I have shed.

Tears hold no shame. Crying offers release and relief. Most importantly, from my tiny little view of the world, God is alert to my tears and each of the reasons for them. He doesn't miss a one of them and collects them in a "bottle". My tears have meaning and purpose. God finds me beautiful in the midst of them and tenderly cares for me while I cry. My God cares so much for me that His word can completely diffuse those thoughts I shared about never being able to stop crying once I start:

"For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:5 (NIV)

If that one doesn't make a difference or ease my anxiety, certainly this one packs a punch of its own:

"God will take away all their tears. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All the old things have passed away.” 
Revelation 21:4

The tears will stop. He promises it. I can cry knowing it will not last forever.

So when I came here today, I didn't necessarily intend share about what I consider a vulnerable place full of tears, but instead God confirmed that beauty can indeed be found there. Not only can beauty be found, He meets me there. He meets you in your place of tears too. Find fantastic writing here.

On His Adventure~



  1. Beautifully written, my friend! You have such a gift with words!

  2. How wonderful to see you putting words to page again! And with a focus of beauty... in all things. YES! Inspiring...


Join me as I leave a trail of beauty. Your thoughts are welcome here!