Until Our Tears Are Gone

By Pastor Jim Kirchner

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about tears and came across some interesting facts about them:

  • You make 15 to 30 gallons of tears each year.
  • You have more than one type of tear: Basal (constantly in your eye to lubricate, nourish, and protect), Reflex (formed to flush out harmful irritants, may contain antibodies to help fight bacteria), Emotional Tears (produced in response to joy, sadness, fear, and other emotional states)
  • You make fewer tears as you get older (mostly the Basal kind) Note: from experience, I’m questioning this one, but facts are facts.

I think we all have experience with tears in one way or another, whether they are great tears of joy when something special happens in our lives or tears of sadness and pain over tragedy or disappointment in life.

As I’ve gotten older, the tears have seemed to come more frequently. I get teary watching a moving commercial (and try to hide that from the rest of the family). I produce tears of amazement after an incredible Arts production, or after a nail-biting athletic contest when our student-athletes pray with their opponents on the field or court. Presently I get tearful on behalf of our students, especially our seniors, during this time.

From personal observation, I find it interesting that the two bookends of life, the early years and the later years seem to contain the most tears. While in the early years these tears are reflexive, in the later they are emotional. I sincerely hope that all the years in between have more tears of joy than of sorrow.

My guess is that in these days we vacillate between the tears of joy and sadness quite a bit. Perhaps a good exercise would be to jot down some times that bring tears of both joy and sadness, here are some of my own current examples:

  • Tears of joy as many people have found out what is really important in life and have given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ – Scripture says all of heaven rejoice (Luke 15:7&10).
  • Conversely, tears of sadness for those not ever knowing the love of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • I’ve heard much joy over the intentional family interaction during this virus where God has allowed us to press the reset button on what really matters – our relationship with God and with each other!
  • The loneliness of those who are isolated, especially in nursing homes, brings tears of sadness.

Though we experience tears of joy and sorrow, most of life is lived in between. Let us hold on to the promise that we have the victory that overcomes this world, and that someday God will wipe away all tears of sadness from our eyes! Revelation 21:4 states, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Praise God!

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