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Let Me Cry!

I’ve been doing some crying, lately.

Many times in the past several months,
I’ve wept over the suffering and physical
deterrioration of my beloved father-in-law, Oscar
Van Impe. Seeing this dedicated, once-strong
man of God (who prayed five hours a day for
the needs of others) lying weak and helpless
really tears my heart out. Repeated strokes
and heart attacks confine him to bed…and
he can barely speak. When I see him — often
when I simply think of his condition — I cry.

My own precious mother, who is perhaps
one of the few saints I know on earth, also has
been stricken with a very serious problem,
accompanied with excruciating pain. Mother
has been graced with many gifts from God —
among them the gifts of help and encouragement.
The morning I took her to the hospital
for diagnostic x-rays, she asked two favors of
me. “Please turn in my donation check for the
ministry, and would you mind taking me by
the post office so I can mail some get-well cards?”

She has been the most unselfish, thoughtful,
and Christlike person one could ever meet
in this world. Our family of employees tells
me that when she is in the office, she exudes
the fruits of the Spirit to such a degree that the
very atmosphere is charged by her joy and love.

Doctors discovered that Mother has a
noncancerous brain tumor and an inflamed major
artery in the brain. They feel that at her age,
surgery or other aggressive treatment is not
the best treatment for her, so they are trying to
control the pain and make her comfortable.

Seeing her pain makes me cry. What a
comfort it has been to have a precious husband and
dear friends who have wept with me during
this trial.

A while back I noticed that a young
waitress who often serves Jack and me when we
go out to eat seemed unusually quiet and
withdrawn and there was a strain on her countenance.
When I went to wash my hands in the
ladiesí room, I had a chance to pull her aside
and ask if something was wrong. Tears spilled
down her cheeks as she told me her husband
had just asked her for a divorce.

Imagine the pain of having your husband
or wife look you in the eye and say, “I don’t
love you anymore — I want out of this marriage.”
I can’t even begin to comprehend the
shock, sorrow, and grief one would feel in
such a situation.

I didn’t know what to say to this poor girl
— but I put my arms around her and comforted
her the only way I knew how…with my tears.

Also in recent months, I have felt an
increased burden for my unsaved friends and
loved ones. Bible prophecy makes it so clear
that time on this old earth is running out fast
and that surely Jesus is coming soon…perhaps
today! So I have been praying…and weeping
…for my unsaved loved ones. It is the only
way I know to minister to them!

What is a tear?

The great preacher, T. DeWitt Talmage,
once wrote, “Help me explain a tear. A chemist
will tell you that it is made up of salt and
lime and other component parts; but he misses
the chief ingredients — the acid of a soured
life, the viperine sting of a bitter memory, the
fragments of a broken heart. I will tell you
what a tear is: it is agony in solution.”

These are powerful, moving words. And
perhaps all of us have either witnessed or
personally experienced the truth Talmage sought
to convey.

But I suggest to you that there is more to
tears than sadness, sorrow, regret, and pain.
Tears can be a release from stress and anxiety,
a vent for frustration, a safety valve for
overpowering emotions. Tears can be the most
sincere expression of compassion and love.
And just as raindrops wash the smoke, smog,
and impurities from the atmosphere, so tears
can wash away the stains of bitterness and
disappointment from our souls.

A time to weep

As Solomon, perhaps the wisest man who
ever lived, once declared, To every thing there
is a season, and a time to every purpose under
the heaven…A time to weep, and a time to
laugh
(Ecclesiastes 3:1,4).

We live in a time when everyone wants to
laugh all the time, but no one is willing to
weep. And if someone does cry, it makes
people really uncomfortable. Children are hushed
and told not to cry. Men are taught that tears
don’t go with a macho image…that only sissies
cry. And women who weep at some sadness
or loss are interrupted and advised to wipe
their eyes and get control of themselves.

No! No! No! Let me cry. It’s all right to
cry. I need to cry. In fact, one of my goals is
to minister to those who are weeping. I want
to do all I can, to say what I can…and when
there are no deeds or words that can help, to
weep with them.

Perhaps my resolution is best expressed
in the words of the late Bob Pierce in his
moving book, Let My Heart Be Broken With the
Things That Break the Heart of God.

When Jesus wept, His tears were for
others. Both Matthew and Luke describe how He
wept over the city of Jerusalem for those who
would not hear and accept the Truth! We, too,
should weep for others.

Weep over souls

Should we be less concerned over lost
souls than our Saviour? Why are we not
crying and praying for the lost to be saved before
it is eternally too late?

I’ve seen people moved to tears by the
plight of fictional characters in a paperback
book. A melodramatic film may jokingly be
described as a “two-hanky” movie, and it’s
perfectly all right. But the same people who
get involved and empathize with artificial
stories can see real live people around them
dying and slipping into eternity without God
and never feel a twinge or shed a tear.

I wonder — if the unsaved friends and
loved ones I’m praying for don’t seem to be
any closer to the Lord than when I first started,
could it be because I haven’t shed any tears
for them? The Bible says, They that sow in
tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth
and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall
doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing
his sheaves with him
(Psalm 126:5,6).

Weep over sin

Sometimes I can hardly watch the news on
television or read the daily paper without
crying. My heart breaks at what is going on in
our nation and the world today. There is such
evil and perversion, such wickedness and
violence. How long will God allow men’s hearts
to be filled with such deliberate, willful sin
before calling them to judgment?

I believe we are to weep over sin, whether
our own, our family’s, or our nation’s. The
Apostle Paul wrote, For godly sorrow worketh
repentance to salvation
(2 Corinthians 7:10).

I am reminded of how Peter, after denying
the Lord during the awful hours before the
Crucifixion, went out, and wept bitterly
(Matthew 26:75). Those tears of repentance
led to his being forgiven and restored.

Weep over sorrow

Just as there is a time to weep over souls
and a time to weep over sin, there is also a
time to weep over sorrow. Do you remember
when Mary and Martha showed the Lord the
tomb where their brother Lazarus was buried?
The Bible says, Jesus wept (John 11:35).

There is a time for sorrow…and when it
comes, tears are appropriate. Paul instructed,
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep
with them that weep
(Romans 12:15).

Notice that the verse did not say to laugh
with those who are laughing and to tell those
who are crying to stop and cheer up. No, it
says to cry with those who are crying! That
means to share their sorrow — to get down
under the burden with them. And when you
share their tears — when all you can do is cry
with them — you’ll find it is a tremendously
effective way to minister your compassion and love.

I once interviewed a pastor who had
suffered the traumatic loss of his little son. This
man told me that in the midst of his grieving,
the people of his church did not understand or
know how to weep with him. They would
come to him and say, “Pastor, why are you
crying? Don’t you have any faith?”

After a while this minister wrote a book
about what he had learned during his sorrowful
experience. He called it, Jonathan, You
Left Too Soon.
But the main lesson I learned
from his experience was that in the day of
sorrow, it’s okay to weep. In fact, for most
people, it’s a really good way to cope with loss
and grief and begin to heal the broken heart
and crushed emotions. Tears can be
tremendously therapeutic.

I know I have been made acutely aware
of the value of tears. And I pray that God
will make me willing to weep with those who
weep, whether they cry tears of pain,
heartache, sorrow…or joy! I encourage you to
consider whether God can also use you in a
ministry of tears.

Remember, though, that our tears will not
— cannot — last long. The psalmist sang,
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh
in the morning
(Psalm 30:5).

I’m here to tell you that a great morning is
coming soon, when we will all be in the
presence of the Lord. Oh, what a glorious promise
and steadfast hope! For on that glad day, God
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more
pain: for the former things are passed away

(Revelation 21:4).

No wonder Jesus said, Blessed are ye that
weep now: for ye shall laugh
(Luke 6:21).

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