09 June 2016

If Tears Solved Problems

I don't know about you, but I'm known to cry on a fair number of occasions. From silent tears rolling down my cheeks in a movie theater to weeping uncontrollably in an airport to shaking sobs in a worship service. When I teach about the topics closest to my heart, it's hard to keep my voice from cracking. I come by it naturally--my mom and sisters, like me, can hardly talk about anything they're passionate about without getting red-faced and choked up.

Some seasons of life have more weeping than others. If the problems faced by us and those we care about could be solved by the quantity of tears shed--we'd have no problems left. Sometimes the things that happen in life are just plain bad. There's no justifying it. I don't believe that every terrible thing that happens is somehow God's perfect will--which means that there's no comfort in tragedy. Someone you love dies. A person in power makes an unjust decision that will affect the lives of those you love. You hear that someone you know is struggling desperately just to survive. A truly good man is let go from his job for no good reason. You long for something--a spouse, a child--and the longing goes unfulfilled. Great tragedy occurs in the world and you can do nothing but weep at the destruction left behind.

A photo posted by Rachel G (@randomlyrachels) on

Tears don't solve anything. They're seen as a sign of weakness--sometimes of specifically feminine weakness. Action would seem to be a more effective option, although there are situations when we've exhausted any action that is possible to us. Sometimes all that remains are tears.

Is it possible to cry about the same situation day after day? To be just as sad about a broken situation months after you've accepted the reality of the situation? Of course it is. I've done it. It might seem more logical to cry about it once and get all the sadness over with, but there are some problems which hurt us so deeply, sadness which touches us to our very core, and those are the situations that inspire the repetitive sessions of daily crying.

I am not ashamed of my tears. I have no qualms about being in public with a red nose and swollen eyes if the situation has called for it. I don't think that weeping ought to be seen as shameful or embarrassing. Sometimes life stuff is heart-breaking, and we can do nothing but allow the heart to break.

The pragmatist in me doesn't see the practicality of tears. If the situation can't be helped, shouldn't we be content to say "I've done all I can"? But no--we cry over problems that we'll never be able to fix, problems that will never be solved in this unjust world. At some point, we have to stop. We can't always wallow in sorrow and in tears. We'll never get anything done if we do. But there is a place for weeping. There must be some value in the shared pain of crying with those we love. I believe that God sees our tears, that He knows why we cry, that He wants his people to weep in the face of injustice.

Tears are a part of this life, but I'm glad to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they won't have any place in the next.


  1. That last sentence. Yes. There have been many tears in this season of life, and I find myself coming back to that same conclusion every day.

  2. Wow. So very true! I too get frustrated at times with my response of tears to many situations. What a lovely reminder that tears are ok for now but will one day be wiped away!

  3. Wow. So very true! I too get frustrated at times with my response of tears to many situations. What a lovely reminder that tears are ok for now but will one day be wiped away!

  4. True to the soul. A very caring and nurturing person you are. Tears are a symbol that shows you have a heart.

  5. I cry looking at my children - tears of joy and pride, just seeing them and knowing how happy they make me I could keep shedding tear by tear. x

  6. You sound just like me from your description! And yes, a comfort to know there will be no tears!x

  7. I cry a lot. I mean. A. Lot. And there are endless triggers. Just like you.
    I love all of this. Epecially that last sentence.
    Thank you, Rachel.

  8. It's so wonderful to remember that we serve the one who will wipe every tear from our eyes! <3 Beautiful reminder!

  9. I try to avoid crying whenever possible, but I tend to tear up when I'm super frustrated/angry, which sucks because then no one takes me seriously, hahaha. I love that last sentence! <3

  10. I think I cry more when Scott is around. If it's just me, crying isn't going to get me anywhere.
    But sometimes it's that feeling of "I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO FROM HERE" that leads to tears, no matter what.

  11. Crying might not be practical, but it can bring great comfort. There's something physically healing about a good crying session. I've spent a lot of time crying in the last few years, and I plan to keep crying. I'm not ashamed of it either, but I look forward to when we have no need of tears. <3