The Blessing of Tears

Then I saw a new earth (with no oceans!) and a new sky, for the present earth and sky disappeared. And I , John, saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. It was a glorious sight, beautiful as a bride at her wedding.

I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, "Look, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them and they will be his people; yes, God himself will be among them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever." Revelation 21: 1-4 (TLB)

You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book. Psalm 56:8 (TLB)

Eleanor Cowles lives in Oregon. When she thinks of God's blessings, she thinks of family, friends, sunshine, or even her morning cup of coffee. Until recently, she never considered tears a blessing. For the past three years she has struggled with one son's cancer, another son's diminishing eyesight, and, finally, the loss of her husband of 58 years. Through it all she found she was unable to cry. She kept everything inside of her - like a heavy weight attached to her ribs. She had always been private with her tears, but now she couldn't cry at all. Finally, after the death of her husband, she began to cry. It happens unexpectedly, at odd moments; sometimes just a trickle, sometimes seemingly endless sobs. But whether her tears flow like a stream or a waterfall, they leave her refreshed, with the weight in her chest becoming lighter and her spirit cleansed.

As we walk through life, we often miss blessings hidden in calamities. But while tears can blur our vision, they can also clarify our sight to reveal new truths. Perhaps we can see our way to reach out to someone in pain. Eleanor believes that when we have walked through pain and grief, we may be the only ones able to see clearly another person walking the same path - and there our tears can meet. Truly, tears can be God's blessing for this life.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, because you also wept, you understand our tears. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen

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