I have to admit it...I'm a crier. I can tear up at the drop of a hat. I tear up when I read books, watch emotional movies, hear moving accounts, whatever. The theme can be sad, bitter-sweet, victory in the face of defeat, etc. It doesn't seem to matter. It's easy for me to tear up. It is so easy that I um...have to be careful. I have the uh...talent (?) to cry on command. I say "talent" because I've had to do this on stage before (just a couple of times) and I've learned that it appear many people cannot do this. I'm not an actor. I've just done a few church productions. However, my son performed with a theatre company for a few years and majors in theatre. I uh...passed this talent onto him and this actually has been a welcome attribute in his line of work.
I say I have to be careful with this ability because it would be very easy to abuse it. It helped that my dad detected this "talent" in me when I was quite young and instilled in me the necessity of always being honest and not toying with people's emotions. Therefore, I never do this unless it's for something like a play or my husband is playfully teasing me about something. He is well aware that I can do this but I never take advantage of it...and I never will.
Anyways, back to the point of this blog. I've never had problems with dry eyes. I can produce tears on demand, right? Well, a little side-effect of my chemo drugs is dry eyes. I started noticing this a couple of days ago. My eyes began to sting a bit. I noticed I didn't cry at a sad movie although I really felt like doing so.
So, what's the big deal? Actually, it is a big deal. Tears serve an important role in the health of our eyes. They lubricate the eyeball. They remove irritants from the surface of the eye. I've learned that tears secrete antibaterial agents which break down bacteria which can cause infections in the eye. The cornea doesn't have a blood supply so tears carry nutrients and oxygen to the cornea.
In addition, tears appear to remove toxins from the body and actually help relieve stress. Many people notice they feel better after crying. I know we women,
at least, appreciate a good cry:) My seemingly small problem of dry eyes is a big deal. As a chemo patient, infection is more of an enemy than ever before. My immune system isn't running at full speed, infections take longer to heal in addition to being harder to heal. Infections could delay my treatments or if left unchecked get completely out of control and threaten my life. As a result, I've had to get stuff to make "fake" tears. I never thought I'd have to do that:wink:
So, how does this apply to our spiritual life? It's important for us to keep our heart softened before the Lord. I'm not saying we have to go around crying all of the time. However, generally tears occur when when our heart is tender (feeling strongly) about something. When our heart is tender, we are much better at truly listening to God's voice. We are much more compassionate toward others and a lot less centered on ourselves.
So go ahead and let your spiritual (or natural) tears flow before the Lord. It's good for your spiritual health!