“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.” -Washington Irving
Gosh, I love this quote. I L.O.V.E. it. Each time my eyes skim over it and I soak it in, it causes me to stop whatever I am doing. I think about the tears shed worldwide on a daily basis. I think about the tears that have been poured out of the deepest sorrow and joy throughout generations upon generations of humans.
I think about myself curling up in a fetal position sobbing from every pore of my being while mourning the loss of not being able to have a biological child. I truly mourned this. Those tears held within them my secrets, my grief, and my pain. Those tears shed were not in vain. I earned each one. I deserved to let go of each one. Those tears were for the girl I once was, and the mother I thought I would never be.
I also think about the tears of joy that have navigated their way down the landscape of my face. They too spoke volumes of resilience, thankfulness, and complete understanding. Those tears released the power of love held within. They too held their place of importance in the history of my life. They too were for the little girl I once was, and the mother I was discovering myself to be.
I remember hearing the “sniffles” behind me at our adoption hearings. I quickly looked around and saw family, friends, and even some child welfare professionals with tears rolling down their cheeks. Each tear was a message of hope and hard work. Each one represented the efforts made to keep my children safe, to help their birth parents, and to give them the permanent family they deserved. The Judge stopped the court proceedings during my son’s adoption and gave me a moment to gather my tears back up. He told me that he had seen many tears of sadness throughout his court room experience, and it was good to see tears of joy.
On a vastly more important level…the most important of all, I think about the tears that flowed down the faces of those who witnessed the crucifixion and death of Christ. I think about those who must have had tears of awe-filled joy at realizing His resurrection. The message of unspeakable love, unselfish love, and saving love that those tears gave is still heard and felt today. At times, I am caught off guard during worship at church. I find myself singing a song, staring at the Cross, and wiping away the droplets that resemble the overwhelming magnitude of my Savior’s grace and love for me.
I think I love this quote so much because it reminds me of the purpose and the purity behind each tear that falls from our eyes. The voice held within our tears speaks so much more compared to the words that may or may not leave our mouths. There is a sacredness there, and it should never be underestimated.
Don’t hold your tears hostage. Don’t stifle their meaning. Your tears may be speaking for you. Allow them to. Your tears may be speaking to you. Listen to them.