Tears, Healing, and Canned Vegetables

I like being honest. I’m even pretty okay with admitting that I am broken. However, I struggle with being okay with my tears. I can be real with you, I just hate it when you see me cry. Not just you, but anyone. I even hate seeing myself cry. It is ugly. It makes the skin around my eyes dry until it burns. There is nothing pretty about red eyes and a red face, stained with salty tears.

But let me tell you what is pretty: healing.

There was a time in my life when I was going through this sort of depression, only I did not know why. I was probably stressed (and I can say that because more often than not, I am stressed). I was probably tired and felt weak. I was depressed and cried. All. The. Time. I cried so much that my mother sat me down and told me it probably wasn’t healthy to be crying over nothing.

But when are we ever really crying over nothing?

I remember being in a grocery store in Aberdeen, SD (when you live in a podunk town you do drive forty miles to do all your shopping). My mother and I were in an isle surrounded by canned vegetables, and I began to cry. I suppose it wasn’t the canned vegetables that made me cry. It was a man who passed by us, he was slightly crippled and could not walk normal. And I burst out in tears.

My mother was probably embarrassed. What kind of person just randomly starts to cry next to canned vegetables? It didn’t help one bit that someone from our church was not only shopping at the same store, but obviously needed some canned vegetables. I tried to wipe away my tears. It was not okay to just cry. This was not healthy.

Or, at least, that’s what I had become to believe.

I had missed something valuable—tears have a healing power. I don’t know why I cry sometimes, but tears are healing. They shouldn’t be set aside, they should be embraced. They should be embraced like a two-year-old hugging a teddy bear.

I hope, truly hope, that you can discover again the healing power of tears. I am rediscovering it myself.


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