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Topic: TEARS - (as in crying) (10/04/04)
TITLE: Weeping May Endure for the Night
By Glenda Lagerstedt
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But in the end she went. It wasn’t the first time nor was it to be the last. I sat on Grampie’s lap and sobbed long into the night.
Tears. Tears for scoldings, both deserved and undeserved. Tears for the kitten that died before it had begun to live. Tears for something as devastating as the knowledge that something was terribly wrong with what an old man was doing to me while extracting promises not to tell anyone. (If I did, people would be mad at him and it would be my fault.)
There was weeping the day I stood too close to our cranky freaky nanny goat that happened to have horns. Cranky though she was, I was sure that since I was being nice and feeding her, she would be happy with me and I would be safe. The tears came after she lowered her head, lifted me on her horns and tossed me unceremoniously over her back. More tears flowed as Grampie came to the rescue with a tool designed to dehorn cows…and he promptly dehorned the nanny goat. I am not sure if I cried more for myself or for her.
School was tough. Clothing that was ill fitting, out of style and dirty brought unfavorable reaction from peers in our university town. Being “illegitimate” in the forties was frowned on, the child somehow tainted by the sin thereof. There were grown ups (probably fewer than I actually felt) that literally looked down their noses.
Dragonflies (some careless adult informed me) would sew my lips shut if they got too close. That brought on a few tears, and dragonflies still give me the creeps.
Ah! My pet hen Renny. There was a tearful day! For a reason I couldn’t fathom, when the other chickens headed for the soup pot, Renny was not exempt.
And then there was the night that I lined up my dolls across the pillows at bedtime. Before the job was completed to my satisfaction, however, there was a sharp reprimand, “Lights out!” Alas, the doll named Happy had all his features woven into the fabric he was made from; there was no way that touch could tell whether he was face up or face down. I cried myself to sleep, certain that Happy was indeed face down and would suffocate before morning.
This life is sometimes referred to as a ‘vale of tears’. We start crying as soon as we draw our first breath. The Bible tells us ‘weeping may endure for the night’. That, though, is not the end of the story, for God goes on to tell us ‘but joy comes in the morning.’ Yes!
I believe that my love and concern for children was formed and nurtured through feeling their pain firsthand in my own childhood. I had years of feeling sorry for myself, resenting God for allowing things to happen, and not feeling good about who I am. But in an on-going healing process, I have come to see that God allowed these things, knowing that I would triumph in the end through His Grace. I see the suffering of those years as more of a trust, not a tragedy.
Jesus is the Wounded Healer, and as we allow God to use the pain in our own lives for the good of others, we follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Someday we may find that our tears have turned to diamonds. At least we will know that they weren’t in vain.
PS: My mom is a wonderful and caring woman who despite an even more painful childhood of her own and a way too early pregnancy has triumphed over adversity and allows God’s love to flow through her to others…especially children. I thank God for her unconditional love and acceptance.