Many years ago, at a grief workshop I attended, a medical doctor told us that tears are essential for good health. When we experience extreme stress, our bodies produce a toxin that can only be expelled through our tears. When people refuse to cry, the toxin can attack us from within. That’s why it’s not unusual for people to develop serious illnesses like cancer after a traumatic experience.
Just as gargling with salt water can help heal a sore throat, our saltwater tears bring healing both physical and emotional. Funerals are healing because it is the one time that society gives both men and women have permission to cry. Films, sermons, music can move us to tears and bring us at least a momentary peace.
I believe that tears reveal our strength. It takes courage to let our tears flow freely. Those tears are part of God’s gift to human beings at creation, given for their healing qualities. As Christians, we do our best to follow Jesus’ example in all aspects of our living. The shortest verse in the Bible is just two words. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
I encourage you to remember that salt water does a lot of healing when it comes from a mighty ocean or a face streaked with tears.
Loving God, thank you for your gift of healing tears. Help us remember that healing is a long journey and requires an entire lake of tears. We pray as followers of Jesus. Amen
(adapted from “Dipping Your Toes” by Janet Stobie)