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 Vol. 8, No. 10 

October 2006

~ Page 17 ~

Do We Remember How to Cry?

By E. Dean Kelly

Image I heard a song the other day about a daddy and his daughter who is about to get married. It said something like, "Remember that I loved her first." I have to admit that song made me cry. Someone sent me a patriotic email of a reading by Johnny Cash that he had written about the American Flag. It made tears well up in my eyes as I listened. I have been known to have a tear drip down my cheek when I am watching the sad part of a movie. I know that it does not sound very "macho" and "manly" to admit that, but I am not ashamed of it. I am glad that I have not forgotten how to cry.

We need to be able to cry because we have hearts that are touched by a care and concern of others. Our hearts should grieve with those who are suffering and in pain. We should feel compassion when others face disaster, disease and death. Too often it seems that when calamity and struggles come to those around us, we tend to rejoice in seeing the problems of others. It is easy to become smug in our own lack of troubles, and to assume that others' problems are their own fault. Jesus said that we should mourn with those that mourn (Luke 6:25). I would hope that we will never loose the ability to cry for those around us who are suffering.

We need to be able to cry because we have hearts that are tender. We should be able to cry as we think about those that we love. We should have a soft spot for our country and patriotism. Our hearts should be able to be touched with joyous tears as we think about and see our loved ones succeed. Family and country and God's people should touch the very depths of our souls, so that tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of a godly pride, can flow from our eyes as we think about these blessings from God. Those who cannot feel these things may be suffering from a lack of "natural affection" (Romans 1:31).

We need to be able to cry because of sin and its devastating results. A young person was telling me the other day that she and her mother went to see a movie for her birthday. She said it was pretty good, but that there was a lot of cussing, and that they had even 8 and 10 year old children cussing. That should cause us to well up in horrified tears! I am truly afraid that we have forgotten how to mourn over sin. We have grown so accustomed to sin, it has been thrust into our face from every side, that we have been anesthetized to it; we do not feel anything about it anymore. Jeremiah told the people of Israel that they had "forgotten how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12). Sin should make us angry, but it also should make us mourn, and fill our souls and eyes with tears. Sin is not only ugly, it destroys lives and condemns souls to hell for eternity. If ever we should be able to cry, it should be over sin.

We should be able to cry because we have a divine example. In the shortest verse in the English Bible, these two simple words are spoken, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). Jesus cried out of compassion for the family and friends of Lazarus. I believe that Jesus had tears in his eyes when he looked down on Jerusalem, and said that he would have saved them many times, but they would not let him. The fact is that Jesus had not forgotten how to cry. Let us follow his example with tender, loving hearts that are touched by those things for which we should shed righteous tears.Image

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