Tears are a wonderful thing! They are an overflow of what the heart is feeling, whether it be joy, sadness, comfort, or pain. Why are we ashamed of our tears?! Tears show that we are alive emotionally and can be touched and moved.
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Church is one place where our hearts are often touched by encouraging, comforting words and songs that may bring tears, as well as convicting words that bring tears. Certainly when we’re there we shouldn’t try to hide our tears! Forget what people are thinking, and let those tears flow! They’ll bring healing to your aching heart.
I remember when I was having some physical and hormonal issues. I felt like such a failure and was so discouraged. Many times I sat in church and quietly wept as songs were sung of God’s love for me, and of His care and understanding. I cried through sermons of encouragement for the discouraged. These were healing tears as God ministered to my heart and comforted me. If I had held them back, I wouldn’t have received as much healing for my heart, because I would have been hardening it.
I still cry easily in church when I hear or sing songs that are special to me, or when my heart is touched during the preaching of God’s Word. Isn’t that why we go to church? Isn’t that where we receive the comfort we need, and encouragement to keep trusting God and do what’s right? We should pray that our hearts will be touched! I’m thankful for the gift of tears, and the comfort they bring as I am ministered to.
By the way, how should we respond to someone who is crying?
First, I’ll suggest something we shouldn’t do! We shouldn’t make a joke about it, such as, “Has your husband been picking on you again?!” It’s better to say nothing at that time than to tease.
Perhaps we could just tell them we love them, and give them an encouraging pat on the arm. But it may be even better to just go home and pray for them, or maybe send an encouraging note.
One lady did something special for me during my time of feeling so discouraged, that I’ll never forget. We had a guest singer at church, and at the end of the service he sang one last song. The song he picked expressed EXACTLY what I was feeling. I put my head on my husband’s shoulder and just wept.
When church was over, I went out to the car to wait for my husband. As I sat there, a lady who had been sitting behind us came and knocked on my window. I put it down and she handed me a note, then left. The note told me how she had noticed my reaction to the song and could recall a time she she too felt like that. Then she said she loved me and would pray for me.
What a thoughtful thing to do! No questions about what was wrong; no questioning looks — just a note to let me know she could relate to my discouragement, and that she cared.
So, perhaps we ought to let people cry and later encourage them. But, whatever we do, when we are moved to tears, we shouldn’t try to hide them. Let’s let them flow!
As the song writer wrote, “Tears are a language God understands.”