Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Reign of God in the Rain of Eyes: The Movement of God in the Midst of Our Tears

I am rapidly moving toward the conclusion of our I John series in the Sunday morning worship services at Emmanuel. I am currently working on a new Sunday Morning series entitled The Reign of God in the Rain of Eyes: The Movement of God in the Midst of Our Tears. Scientists can tell us the physiology of tears, but little is known about the spirituality behind our tears. It's interesting to note that no other creature in God's universe sheds tears - only humans. It is my intention to show through this new series that this "singular pecularity of humans," as Freud called it, is in reality closely connected to a movement of God in the soul.

A poet once wrote "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears," and the Bible seems to posit similar thoughts. There are 697 places in our Bible where the tears, weeping, and crying of people are mentioned, and in almost every single case there is a movement of God associated with the tears.

The series will begin in the middle of August, and if any of Grace and Truth readers have thoughts, anecdotes or comments about human tears, feel free to offer them! It could very well show up in the new series - with credit of course!




believer333 said...

Excellent study. :)

However, I would like to remind you of something. Perhaps, equally or perhaps less often, there is also a move of God when He wipes away our painful tears. Revelation speaks of God wiping away our tears.

Personally, I had a particularly profound experience of this early in my walk with the Lord. At the conclusion of some horrible experience, I found myself kneeling in the garden weeping profusely before the Lord asking and begging for help and answers. Suddenly the presence of God and the HS came about me and I felt a hand wipe away my tears. Not only did He wipe away my tears but He wiped away that strained feeling in face and mind that goes with crying in emotional pain.

As I sat there on my knees before the Lord's presence, no longer even able to cry, I asked the Lord something like, "now what should I do". I really didn't know. It was so amazing to have God wipe away my pain. His response was to tell me to go back and that everything would be all right. There have been so many times in my life when God has assured me that something would be all right. How could I not believe Him when He had just miraculously removed my tears leaving my face perfectly dry? So, I went back and found that God had spoken to someone else to right some wrongs.

Granted God does not always do things for us like this as we mature in the Lord. But God is capable of moving in our lives to heal the cause of painful tears and is not shy in His creativity.

I look forward to hearing about your study.

Christiane said...

from the poetry of Dan Skelton:

"I should have thought
it would have been enough,
that anguish
in tears
that stained the rough cheeks
of the carpenter from Galilee. "

Christiane said...


From Liturgy of the Hours
Book IV
pg. 413 Letter to Proba
by St. Augustine

" To spend much time in prayer is to knock with a persistent and holy fervor at the door to the One Whom we beseech.

This task is generally accomplished more through sighs then words, more through weeping than speech.

He "places our tears in His Sight" , and "our sighs are not hidden from Him", for He has established all things through
His Word and does not seek human words."

St. Augustine

Darrell said...

Broken, lonliness, heartache, heartbreak, sadness, aloneness, grief, oppression, I have cried with them all. But after the tears came "Him", the One, and His Word promises

“The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces;;

Ah, the wonders of our Saviour!

Thanks Wade, I needed this post.

believer333 said...

Interesting that comments thus far were in the same line of thinking I was. However, my thought on where you were going Wade, was in the tears of joy from deep worship. :) said...

I will let the text determine the direction, but you are correct - it is more than just tears of grief.

Rex Ray said...

Someone said something like ‘Sorrow is God’s opportunity’.

I walked a mile with laughter
She chatted all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say

I walked a mile with sorrow
Not a word said she
But oh the things I learned
When sorrow walked with me

Never learned who wrote this…just a poem my father taught.

You wrote: “It’s interesting to note no other creature in God’s universe sheds tears – only humans.”

I believe animals may have the same feelings; not with tears but other ways.

If a dove looses its mate, it never mates again. When calves are sold , their mothers will ‘bawl’ off and on for days.

When my grandfather died, his favorite hunting dog would never hunt again.

Hey! Try putting your dog and wife in the car trunk, and see which one shows their love when you let them out. :)

Bryan Riley said...

"They that sow in tears shall reap in songs of joy." Psalm 126:5.

When we are moved to suffer with another (that is, to have compassion), we are living as Jesus lived, the ultimate actor of passion and compassion - and such sacrifice results in God's glory. Philippians 2. Romans 12:1-3. said...

My hope is to show that tears are not a bad thing on earth - for it produces a taste of heaven - God will meet the very need that caused the tears to arise. As Bryan reminds us - joy comes in the morning.

Christiane said...

Good Morning Everyone,

It's me, L's

I think that the subject matter of 'tears' is a little daunting for many. Something so much a sign of pain, sometimes of suffering, some consider it 'weak' to cry, or some consider it 'embarassing' to be seen weeping.

So, I understand why it is hard to respond to this post.

In my faith, it is said this: that tears can be a outward sign of Wisdom and Understanding from the Holy Spirit, for which we experience a great Gratitude, which leads to Joy, one of the greatest of His Gifts to us.

Sometimes the 'Wisdom' and the 'Understanding' comes at a price: we love, and we can be hurt. The more we love, the more vulnerable we are to pain. We know this, when we lose someone we have loved: a parent, a friend, a child, a spouse. Even the loss of a pet brings many tears. Why? Because we have LOVED THEM.
So much. So much.

But what is the alternative?

C.S. Lewis wrote about this:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable . . .
If you want to make sure of keeping your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness.

But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken — it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from love is Hell." — C.S. Lewis

Mothers know a lot about love. Even in the animal kingdom: in Judaism, it is considered a great sin to kill the baby of a mother within her sight. The pain is too great to bear.

So, in loving one another, we become vulnerable to pain.
C.S. Lewis would say we also become 'redeemable'.

Absorbing the Great Commandment 'love one another as I have loved you', we 'begin' to understand the 'kind' of love we are asked to have for one another, and the price of that love.
The answers are with Him,
not just there in the suffering on that Cross, but also, in the joy of that 'Empty Tomb':

"Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart…rend your hearts, not your garments and return to the Lord your God."
From the Book of Joel

I love that part in the Gospel of John where Mary Magdalene stands by the Empty Tomb, weeping,
and it is said to her, this: 'Why are you weeping?'

And The Voice comes to her: "MARY"

Why is it that we weep? Love,


Former FBC Insider said...

Rex Ray,

That was brilliant!!
What a picture you painted for me.
I needed that.

believer333 said...

"Hey! Try putting your dog and wife in the car trunk, and see which one shows their love when you let them out. :)"

Hey Rex~

Your wife shows her love for you by letting you know in precise terms that that was unacceptable behavior and you had best not ever try that again. She is your strong counterpart (note 'counter' - different but equal) given by God to help you mature into the strong man of God that would never dream of putting his dear wife, the love of his life, or his dog, in a car trunk.

In that scenario, after the dog thanks you profusely for letting him out of the trunk, he then walks off with your wife, and you are now in the dog house.

hehe :)

And in your deluge of tears you plead with God for help, and as he admonished Abraham, God says to listen to everything your wife says and heed it well.

LOL said...


Good stuff. Good stuff all.

Incorporating all of it in my research.