Heart-sick Tears {into the story}

O that my head were a spring of water,
           and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
           for the slain of my poor people!
{Old Testament reading for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost, Jeremiah 8:18-9:1}

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, did not stand distant from his people. Jeremiah was immersed in their story, their life, their tragedies. Have you ever encountered a man quick with tears? It’s a powerful thing, genuine tears  – and most of us are uncomfortable with this raw, unmasked power. We admire it from a distance, but usually we don’t want it up close. Tears make us shifty, our eyes desperate to find a safe way to look away. We want to make the moment better, make the tears stop, fix something.

But Jeremiah just wept. Jeremiah cried because what he saw, what he experienced, demanded tears. This world is not as it should be, and the awake soul does not force a smile but rather echoes Jermiah’s words: “My heart is sick.”

My wife Miska is a weeping prophet. If a conversation strikes deep, as Miska always hopes it will, chances are that tears will soon follow. These tears are one of the burdens she bears in this world. At times, tears make her feel alone. They always make her vulnerable. It’s wrenchingly hard to feel the weight of other’s pain. But Miska’s tears are also gift; her tears heal. One of my favorite experiences is watching Miska’s powerful presence, coupled with her powerful tears, touch a wounded place in another’s soul.

Sometimes, tears speak for themselves, communicating truths that words would only diminish. I think there is a reason that the shortest verse in the Bible says, only, “Jesus wept.”

5 Replies to “Heart-sick Tears {into the story}”

  1. I agree – I had a guy drop off some equipment to us for Skylar (10 months old in two days) and when he saw her with her bi-pap mask on, he asked what was wrong, and as I was explaining what SMA was, he just started crying… it was surprising, and weirdly comforting. Thanks for the post 🙂

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