The secret of tears

I watched from a reasonable distance as a family, I recently became acquainted with, wept tears of mourning for a wife and mother lost to cancer a few days earlier.

Having been an acquaintance and not fully a part of the inner circle of this family, I was torn on how to respond.

It was easier in the days and months that preceded this event. I could stop by, offer words of encouragement, perhaps offer a prayer or two, and offer to help in any way I could, but in the end the result was the same, a family struggling through their own “vale of tears.”

Tears that would forever change the lives of every family member, and many of those who were in the family’s circle of friends. Tears that in some cases, represent the deep regret that, perhaps, they did not spend more time with their loved one. Other tears may have been of anguish, knowing the one they loved more than anyone would not be there when the awoke the next morning. Still others could be tears of relief, as they watched the long progression of the disease and the slow decline of a once vital person.

When I was a child, the thought of the day was that men should not cry. It was considered a sign of weakness. Young boys were chided for expressing their fears, anger, sorrow, or any other emotion, through tears.

As I review my life, I can honestly say, I never saw my father cry although I have no doubt he shed them in secret.

We were a family, like most, who had our issues and co dependencies, but we were a family who operated with the knowledge of love. My father and mother loved each of their eight children with unconditional love, but tears were not part of my father’s repertoire.

My mother, on the other hand, was not afraid to show her tears. She was a strong woman who could be stern in her discipline, but she was also a woman who learned the value of tears.

Psalm 56:8 says; “you number and record my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle – are they not in your book?”

God, our perfect Father, captures our tears and records each one they are so valuable to Him.

The Apostle Paul, one of the toughest men to ever walk the face of this earth, in my opinion, refers to himself as “serving the Lord in all humility in tears.” Acts 20:10

As modern fathers, we must recognize life is not always going to be a rosy picture for us. We will face adversity, pain, and suffering. We will experience apparent defeat and sudden setbacks. In all these; tears are a valuable part of our healing.

Likewise in times of celebration, our personal and family success, major accomplishments, etc, can bring you to tears of joy and excitement.

I contend to you, fathers, that tears are not at all a sign of weakness. Instead, they are a sign of a truly healthy heart. For each tear carries with it such great emotion and the tools by which the Holy Spirit can cleanse, repair, and build the compassionate heart of a true father.

Take the risk, your vale of tears is one of your greatest assets.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

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1 Response to “The secret of tears”


  1. 1 Jeff November 16, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    I agree whole-heartedly!

    The book of Hebrews clearly paints the willingness of God to be like us, so that we could be near to Him, instead of standoffish because He was so ‘lofty.’

    We serve a God who understands us and what we experience – at and that multiplied by a ba-zillion!

    No one can deny that Dads paint a picture of God for their kids. I want to make sure I paint an accurate picture for my children. A picture of a God who is understanding and reasonable and fair, yet just and firm in all love.

    Thanks for writing this!

    Jeff
    http://www.mybowsandarrows.wordpress.com

    Like


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