Grief, Sorrow

Open Eyes

I cry ugly. There are some people who have the talent of crying and looking good at the same time. Both of my daughters, when they were very young, would practice crying in front of a mirror. They acquired the talent of crying and being pretty while crying. This is a talent I do not possess.

Not only do I cry ugly, when I cry there’s a chance (and a good one) that I might cry my contact lenses out of my eyes. It’s extremely unfortunate to lose a contact while crying – sometimes the lens can be recovered, but more often than not, I fail in any recovery effort, often finding the lost lens dried out on the bathroom countertop.

So, in addition to crying ugly, I risk suffering financial loss if I lose a contact lens while crying – I am therefore highly motivated to “hold it together” for the sake of vanity and finances!

Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, it’s impossible for me to avoid tears:

  • I cry when my young daughter gives me a drawing she made just for me.
  • I cry when I miss my older children and my grandson.
  • I cry when accidentally stubbing my toe in the middle of the night.
  • I cry when I see an animal rescue story.

Apart from these, there are life experiences that can move me to tears so intense I may have trouble seeing the path in front of me. Emotions can run so deep that my soul’s pain blurs my vision. Those are the kinds of tears no one wants to cry.

Psalm 6:6,7a NLT “I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief…”

When we go through those moments, it’s tempting to think that “no one” could ever understand our pain. There’s no one who has ever gone through what we are experiencing. This is true to an extent since pain is individual. What is not true, is believing our pain is so great and unique that there’s no one who can relate to us and help us.

In Genesis 21, after Abraham’s son of promise Isaac was born, his first son, Ishmael and his mother Hagar, faced a lot of hardship. Sarah, Isaac’s mother, understandably was protective of her only child. She wanted them both gone from the household. So, they were sent away into the wilderness.

Imagine being Ishmael’s mother, rejected by your son’s wealthy father, wandering in the wilderness with your son and running out of water. When the water did run out, she couldn’t bear watching her son die. She laid him under a bush and sat some distance away, waiting for what she thought was inevitable to happen.

Genesis 21:16 NLT “Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. ‘I don’t want to watch the boy die,’ she said, as she burst into tears.”

Tears at a seemingly impossible and intractable situation. Uncontrollable tears, for her son was going to die. She couldn’t see because of her tears, until her eyes were opened.

Genesis 21:19,20 NLT “ ‘Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.’ Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.”

Hagar thought she was in an impossible situation. However, what she thought wasn’t the truth. God had a plan for her son – He had a wonderful future in store. Her tears kept her from seeing straight; it wasn’t until God “opened” her eyes that she saw a well full of water.

Don’t allow pain and tears to close your eyes to the wells of water surrounding you. God has a wonderful plan in store for you and your loved ones – allow Him to open your eyes to see the well. That water will revive what you think is dying inside of you.