Tears are unspoken language of soul

Published 1:11 am Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tears, those salty drops of liquid that spill from your eyes, speak a language of their own. They are the ink of the soul revealing our emotions. Tears flow like splashes of joy when a good laugh squeezes them from the corners of your eyes.

In times of loss, tears can flood from your eyes in seemingly endless streams down your cheeks. French philosopher Voltaire has written, “Tears are the silent language of grief.”

Feelings like embarrassment, excitement, anger or anxiety can cause someone to burst into tears.  Another writer put it this way, “Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it.”

Physically, tears express the pain we feel  – whether a spontaneous “ouch” or unspeakable agony. Herbert Lockyer has said, “Tears are liquid pain.” They know no age limit. A newborn announces its arrival by crying. In a nursing home we once visited, an Alzheimer’s patient walked the halls sobbing.

Tears have a way of making their appearance at family events such as weddings and funerals. My husband’s aunt, whose eyes welled up with tears every time she told a family memory, once said, “My heart is too close to my eyes.”

This warm fluid from glands around the eyeball fights bacteria and keeps dust out of the eyes. Every time we blink, tears bathe the outer layer of the eye called the cornea. Without tears, dryness would result in blindness. Recently, I experienced  a dryness that required eye drops.

Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors, wrote a book years ago entitled No Wonder They Call Him The Savior, which ranks as one of the best books I’ve ever read.  In one chapter called “Miniature Messengers,” Lucado writes, “When words are most empty, tears are most apt.”

The author paints a vivid word picture of the people and events surrounding Christ’s death. He describes the tear-stained faces at the foot of the cross, like that of John, the disciple whom Jesus asked to take care of His weeping mother.

Then there’s Peter, the fisherman turned disciple, who spent three years with Christ then denied knowing Him after He was arrested. Later, Peter wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75).

Did you know that the shortest verse in the Bible has only two words, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35)?  Jesus shed tears when taken to the grave of His friend, Lazarus, and then Jesus raised him from the dead.

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem for His triumphal entry, He wept over the city saying, “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late” (Luke 19:42).  Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t weep for the soul of America.

Max Lucado has written, “When tears come, remember Jesus…Remember, the eyes of God wept human tears.”


-Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at jwhite@andycable.com.