Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm a Cry Baby!

I have a love/hate relationship with my tears.

I hate it when I tear up at insignificant things like commercials or even more serious shows, articles, or the back of a cereal box (I kid about the last one). At least once a week I am fighting back tears during the morning devotions with my kiddos—these are children’s stories, people, and I can’t even get through them without taking a breather. I am also a sympathy crier, if anyone is shedding a single tear, they can count on me to join in. You know ‘weep with those who weep’, I get an A+ on that test!

Due to my uncontrollable tear ducts, I often skip shows I know will start the water-works. I pretty much avoid Lifetime at all costs. However, sometimes I just can’t resist which brings me back to the love/hate part of my relationship. I love stories of hope, joy, and triumph of the human spirit and yet I’m also drawn to stories of great tragedy. Maybe because the greatest joy often follows the greatest tragedy?

I get my overactive tears naturally, from a long line of criers: grandma, mom, aunts, and sisters, we all boo-hoo at the drop of a tissue. I will never forget sitting at my grandma’s table sharing about the death of my friend’s grandparent. The tears began to well up, the lump in my throat grew larger, and I had to stop. I remember being so embarrassed and saying, “I hate it when I do this!”

And then my darling Aunt Ruby (she’s my favorite, I hope the other 10 never read this but just in case I love you all!) said to me, ‘don’t ever be ashamed of being compassionate.’ That one statement changed my attitude toward my tears. I, even as a 14 year old girl, saw them as weakness. I felt I had a character flaw, I was a cry baby! But Ruby gave them a name, she called them compassion. Compassion is not a weak flaw it is a kind, sympathetic, caring character strength. One for which I am grateful God has chosen to use as part of my makeup, messy though it may be. Thanks Aunt Ruby!

Lamentations 3:22 – Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”