Tears of Strength

Why is it that so often we associate tears with weakness?

There is something about a good cry that I find empowering. Not just venting. Not choking up. I’m talking about when your soul takes a hit. When a sob rises in your throat and you begin to weep. When you cry, not because you are compelled to or because you can tell your friends later that you cried during “Marley & Me,” but for the real stuff. When you cry because it is the only way you know how to be.

These tears aren’t the kind you find flowing when you fail an exam or stub your toe really hard. They are the kind when your spirit changes. When something pivotal happens inside you. Like you have been completely still for so long and you discover how to move your muscles for the first time. They hurt, but something changed. You won’t be lying still any longer. Something is different.

You can say these are tears of joy or sadness, but I believe that life is way to complicated and beautiful to paint such a black and white picture. There are so many factors to joy or grief. Joy can be bittersweet. Grief can be overcome and bring strength. Every moment we feel is a journey within itself (as I type this, I also cannot help but think of “tiny infinities”).

I’ve found that taking risks, leaning on faith, trusting in something greater than you, is amazing and painful in it’s own way. That  is when you feel the most. Pain, joy, happiness, brokenness, and all. And it takes strength to keep holding on. When you remember the biggest moments in your life that made you who you are today, I’ll bet the ones that mattered most came with tears. But it wasn’t weakness that inspired you, it wasn’t frailness that changed your life. It was triumph, beauty, and love. It was strength.

The figures I hold above all else in life are pictures of strength and overcoming. If I am trying to live like them, or like one in particular, I can’t forget that He had to grow and accept humanity in order to live out His destiny.

So, maybe next time I’m embarrassed to cry or I want to hold it all in, I’ll remember that not only did Jesus save, forgive, love, and sacrifice…. but he also wept.



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