“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”Psalm 56:8
When it comes to movies, I cry. I cried watching the Smurfs. I cried when Frosty melted. I just cry. My kids know it all too well that when there is a sad part in a movie, the flood gates are open. They think it’s funny and I try to hide it. Unsuccessfully of course.
I wonder if God collects those movie tears. Maybe He classifies the tears. I can imagine a shelf labeled with my name on it and several jars of tears, movie tears, painful tears, joyful tears, and tears for others.
When I meet with my spiritual director, the minute the tears begin to flow, I know the question coming. What are the tears? Our tears speak about what our heart is trying to communicate. Each little droplet has a message from the heart. They are little prayers connecting our heart to God or to someone else we are crying for.
I began to pay attention to that question “what are the tears”. Now, when I cry, I ask myself “what are the tears”. You just don’t know what you can uncover about yourself when you begin to listen to the tears. My spiritual journey has involved peeling what seems like an infinite blooming onion, which by the way doesn’t always taste very well.
When I analyze the tears, I discover many things about myself and the life I’ve traveled. I learn how things from my childhood affect my emotions today. Reading Psalm 56:8, helps me envision each one of the tears as words filling the pages of my story. They move from my heart to God. And He reaches back and connects my journey, refining my soul so that I can be a better version of myself to partake in His will for me.
Some people are taught that tears are a form of weakness. I say they are a gift from God, a form of strength. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by them and hiding them from our kids when we are crying because something in an animated movie hit a core emotion. Oh, that’s me and perhaps I should be embarrassed about that. Our tears really do reveal a huge portion of the person we are because they do carry a part of our story in each droplet.
Since God is collecting them, I think I’m going to just let the river flow.
I absolutely love this quote by St. Padre Pio. “Your tears were collected by the angels, and were placed in a golden chalice, and you will find them when you present yourself before God.”
“Your tears were collected by the angels, and were placed in a golden chalice, and you will find them when you present yourself before God.”
St. Padre Pio
Can you imagine when you get to Heaven and God hands you a golden chalice (or a few that are labeled) with all your tears? What a beautiful image of hope in a God that loves so much that each little droplet falling from your eyes is an important treasure to collect. Our God is an awesome God.
I invite you next time you cry to ask yourself, what are the tears?