The Blessing Of Tears — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

The Blessing Of Tears — Morning Devotions

In our society, and even upbringing, crying can be associated with weakness. But to the contrary, crying can be a gift and used for good.

By Chris WittsWednesday 17 Aug 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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If you read the Gospel of Luke and particularly Luke 7, you might see a fascinating story about a woman who was actually called a sinful woman. A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him one day, and so they got ready to eat. And then suddenly the woman came in, who knew that Jesus was in the house and she came in with an expensive bottle of perfume, stood behind Jesus; Luke says she cried, started washing his feet with her tears, and drying them with her hair.

The woman kissed his feet and poured some perfume on his feet. So the Pharisee was actually in uproar. At this, he said to himself, “well, if this man was really a prophet, he would know who this kind of woman is that’s touching him“.

The emotion of a forgiven soul

And Jesus spoke to the Pharisee, whose name was Simon, and told him a story about forgiveness. And so Jesus turned to the woman and said, “Have you noticed this woman? Simon when I came into your home, you didn’t give me any water to wash my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.” And he goes on to tell the story here about this remarkable woman. And then he says to the woman “Woman, your sins are forgiven because of your faith. You are now saved, may God give you peace.”

So this woman came in, stood at the feet of Jesus, weeping, bathing his feet with her tears. Now this is, I think, either a beautiful story or it can make you feel uncomfortable to think of a display, a public display of emotion. How would you have felt if you’d been there and seen that happen? Remember that in those days women had no status at all. So she must have really felt that she needed to express how she felt – this being thankful for the fact that she was with Jesus and you could really visualise the tears running down her cheeks and dropping onto his feet. She was an absolute mess.

So here was this Pharisee Simon mumbling away to himself. “Why doesn’t Jesus put an end to this pathetic display? If he’s a prophet, doesn’t he realise who she is? A sinner. She is unworthy of my hospitality.”

So Simon was sort of casting judgement on her and on Jesus. Jesus goes onto correct Simon’s thoughts by sharing a story about two people who were in debt to a money lender and the money lender forgave them both. So this woman understood what the story was all about. So the gift of tears.

The blessing of tears

What a great blessing of peace. Jesus said, “Because of your faith, you are now saved. May God give you peace.” And I just wonder. How do we respond with the display of tears? And and there can be all sorts of different reasons why people cry, expressing sadness, grief, joy or even the tears of relief.

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I guess you’ve been to a funeral as I have, and I think we tend to respect those people who appear to be very strong at a time of sadness and loss, who don’t really show how they feel, and our culture is, of course, on Simon’s side. You know, “stop this public behaviour”. We get uncomfortable when people cry. For many of us, we feel that if we cry, we are sort of losing control.

And it’s misunderstood as a sign of weakness. Until a few decades ago, for example, for a man to cry was to be less than a man. I mean, a man was sort of tainted as being a woman if he cried. No, no wonder men fear their tears and dad’s. Maybe your dad taught you that to cry was to be a ‘sissy’. You know that the man had to be strong, and I want to talk about this a bit more.

So most of us, I think, are programmed to be ashamed of our tears. And we do everything we can to not cry. We feel uncomfortable when others cry.

Even at the garden of Gethsemane, we read in the Bible that Jesus himself wept. He fell to the ground, and he was absolutely distraught. He cried aloud his whole body to pour out his fear and distress. So the question is, can tears really be bad? No, I don’t think so.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, we thank you for tears. We thank you for the emotion and the gift of tears. May we not decry this, but see it as something that you’ve given us, Amen.