Let Me Cry!

Let Me Cry!
by Dr. Rexella Van Impe

I've been doing some crying, lately.

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back I noticed that a young waitress who often serves Jack and me when we go out to eat seemed unusually quiet and withdrawn and there was a strain on her countenance.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 ladies 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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