Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?
I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
- Psalm 56:8-13
“I pray for you tears when you need them, for tears clear the eyes to see the stars and cleanse the soul to let healing begin.”
- Brian Morgan, The Legend of the Christmas Prayer
Yesterday we sighed to clear the heart. Today we shed tears to clear the eyes.
Funny, in recent years I have used my dry-eye condition to explain why I rarely shed tears. It’s just an excuse. Anyone could ask why I didn’t shed tears before I got the condition, but they never have. Okay, my wife worries about it.
I do shed tears, but at odd times, maybe inappropriate times, at least according to my wife. When my brother and both parents died nearly ten years ago all within four months, I never shed a tear. I nearly did during my Dad’s funeral, but I remembered something that he said when the last of our beagles died, “Don’t cry; it’s just livestock.” My Dad was far from being livestock, but his training over my youth regarding big boys not crying took hold, and I fought back the tears. I wonder if he would have been proud or disappointed at that moment.
It would be wonderful if I could simply call upon the tears to flow, if I could just bury my head in a pillow and sob, I could clear my eyes to see the stars. But I saw the stars last night anyway. I had a dream. It looked as if the constellations had changed. I found the sky confusing. There was no sense of direction, but I saw stars. Not many people in Pennsylvania could say that last night with the cloud cover (as of the day of this writing).
But let’s look at the Scripture above again and tie that to the end of the quote. When reading a psalm that includes a lament of some sort, the psalmist almost always includes words of praise to God. Life has been unkind. Things are tough, but we have a powerful God who is faithful. God will heal us, heal our land, heal whatever is broken.
The psalmist has it right, just as Morgan has it right in this prayer. No matter how dark our circumstances, no matter how strong the flood of tears, God provides the light. He can shine stars through cloudy skies, just to let us know that He is with us.
Dry the tear
God is near.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.