Facing the terminal diagnosis of our unborn son, I learned what it meant to cry. Don’t get me wrong, I had cried before, but never like this.
This was different. This cry was deep from within my soul – words that I didn’t know how to express, prayers I couldn’t pray, hopes and dreams that had been annihilated, emotions and thoughts too big for my mind to comprehend.
This cry was deep, guttural, primitive, spiritual. A cry too deep for words, a cry only the Holy Spirit could comprehend.
At first, they were tears of grief, sadness, and anger. They were a reflection of a will that refused to submit to Him and became tears of hatred and questioning and arguing. They were tears produced by a self-righteousness, delusional entitlement. I wanted an apology from God for what He had allowed. Heated anger left me exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Although the attitude behind those tears was sinful, God still gathered each tear. With every one that was shed, He began changing my heart, mind, and soul. He used each and every tear to bring me to repentance, reconciliation, and redemption. Over the past 10 years since our son’s death, the Lord has written a beautiful story of redemption. He has used the darkest days of my life to reconcile me to Himself.
In the years since our son’s death, as I fought with God, He gently held me to Him. He reminded me He could be trusted. It was scary to trust Him; if He could allow my son to die in my arms, what else would He allow? These tears He used to reveal my brokenness and desperate need for Him. He used them to bring me into submission. He wrapped me in His love. It was then my tears became worship. They transformed from tears of bitterness, rage, and questioning into tears of trust, thankfulness, and love.
I can’t even begin to imagine how many tears I have cried in the time since our son’s death. Only the Lord knows. He has saved each one as each one is precious to Him. They reflect a struggle to trust Him, acts of humble submission to Him, and love for Him that cannot be expressed any other way. Each tear was seen and known. Known by a loving, patient Savior who understands, cares, and heals.
As I grow in my love for Him, my tears will continue. Instead of anger and indignation, they reflect my love for Him. My deep-seated trust in Him, even when it’s hard. My tears are beautiful and sacred and pure. He knows, loves, and stores each one as a beautiful testament of a life transformed by His goodness.
Out of my pain rose a new and beautiful act of worship: tears. They are deep, guttural, primitive, and spiritual. They represent a deep longing and love for Him that cannot be expressed in words. Only the Holy Spirit can comprehend that! Lord, thank You for my tears.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8 ESV
“And standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:38 ESV
~ Jill Haskins, writer
~ Danyelle Yoder, artist, https://www.danyelleyoder.com/