I woke up slowing this morning, with that slow stretch that so often starts a day, refusing to open my eyes right away in denial that it could actually be time to get up. Even with my eyes closed, though, I knew morning had come, so reluctantly I opened my eyes and took a lazy glance at the clock. What? Could it really be 7:44 AM? But my aquatics class starts at 8:00! Frustrated, I began rushing to get ready for class and out the door.
As I was hurriedly getting dressed, I had a flash of revelation to look up Luke 7:44. I chided myself, telling myself there might not even be such a verse, and besides, I was running late. However, having found that many times these nudges are God, I took a quick break in my preparations to flip through my Bible to find the verse. It is the verse where Jesus is rebuking Simon for being bothered by Mary’s affectionate outpouring of cleaning his feet with her tears. I filed it away, not knowing for sure what to do with it and headed out to my class.
A couple hours later I returned home, in desperate need of a shower after my class. On the way to turn on the shower I stopped by my office to turn on the Prayer Room webstreaming. The team on set was in a very intense instrumental section, and I stood spellbound, unable to tear myself away from the music pulsing through the speakers. Eventually I just gave up on the idea of a shower for the time being and sank into my chair, still spellbound by what was coming across the internet. As I listened, Lou Engle took the prayer mike and began to pray for the thunder of heaven to come. The worship team took it up, which became a crying out for the Glory of God to come.
By this time I was crying, and not just a little! I began to try to pull myself together (I hate to cry), and then remembered the verse from earlier. How like God to give me a heads up on what was to come! I began to realize just how much I have been holding back tears, for my own pain as well as the tears that come in intercession. Revelation washed over me, and the fuller message became clear; Mary anointed Jesus with her tears, and He was asking me to do the same. All those tears I hold back and refuse to let loose are meant to be poured out as a love offering to the One I love. Rather than being a sign of weakness or immaturity, they are a sign of trust; a sign that I know He will handle my deepest, most intimate emotions with care, and will redeem the pain in my life for His Glory. Whether they are tears out of my own pain or out of pain for the condition of the world is irrelevant. Either way, God is the Great Comforter, and He is glorified when I trust Him with my tears.
That’s a hard idea for me to grasp, as I believe it is for many people. From very early ages we are taught that “Big boys/girls don’t cry.” Some of us were even punished and berated for being “too sensitive”. Now, I understand that it is possible to be whiny beyond reason, and that to be well adjusted in society it is important to not always burst into uncontrollable fits of tears at the least provocation, but I think we take that message way too far. I mean, who are we to decide someone is “too sensitive”? What if that sensitivity is there because that person sees reality through the eyes of heaven? What if those tears are the weapon God chooses to tear down principalities and bring about His perfect Will on earth?
For me, the message is clear. First, I expect to do some serious quality time with a box of Kleenex. Second, I’ll give myself permission to be “too sensitive” and trust God to let me know if I’m getting carried away. As for everyone else, they’re just going to have to learn to deal with the fact that I weep. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, but it’s OK. I will anoint the feet of my Beloved with my tears and let the world think what it may. My place is at His feet, tears and all.