A friend asked how she could be praying for me this week, and my response perfectly incapsulates the season I’m in, as I imagine myself tucked in fetal position at the bottom of a door as glass plates shatter around me.
Is it safe to say I feel attacked?
As I arrived at my son’s first official speech and occupational therapy sessions, we were greeted by such gentle kindness that the reports being dropped in my hands felt cold and out of place as I read the words in contrast. They weren’t being unkind. In fact, they weren’t there to be kind, comforting, and fluffy. The point of the printed reports were to place all of the hard facts in my hands. Those facts just happened to be a bit worse than I had expected given their initial post evaluation conversations.
As I’m sitting here even finding the words to describe the other circumstances making this season a weighty one, I’m recognizing that they’re all feeling heavier than usual because they’re all shattering in my home, not other areas like work, relationships, or other places I can temporarily remove myself from. They’re all here, beside me every day, every hour, making the home feel less restful.
And so it’s been a teary season. I don’t know why crying feels so shameful but it’s not, friends, and I’m not going to be ashamed and here is why:
Today I finished reading through the book of Revelation, which was a more beautiful book than I ever remember it being. I’ve avoided it for a while with all the doomsday talk since about covid because it sounded more fear-filled than life giving. I regret avoiding it for that fear-soaked season because really its not scary – it’s life-giving.
As I slowed to the end of the book, one scripture in chapter 21 reverberated through my mind, taking me on a short journey of connected verses through out the word. The verse is a common one that you’re probably familiar with:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
The part that struck me was the footnote for this particular verse. Another translation for the original wording for ‘wipe away’ is ‘anoint’.
He will anoint every tear from their eyes.
And to read it put that way – that He anoints my tears – makes them each feel valued and purposeful. When I am weak, then I am the most strong, and so why do we shy away from our weakness?
The psalmist describes how the Lord keeps track of every sorrow, bottling every last tear drop, and recording them in a book. (Psalm 58:8) I imagine Him filling the tiny vials, and as He screws on the lid, I imagine Him handing that little jar of tears back to me, entrusting,
Here is your anointing oil, my child.
And again in Psalm 126 the psalmist pours out,
“The Lord has done great miracles for them! Yes, He did mighty miracles and we are overjoyed! Now Lord, do it again! Restore us to our former glory! May streams of your refreshing flow over us until our dry hearts are drenched again. Those who sow their tears as seeds will reap a harvest with joyful shouts of glee. They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow, but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!” (v2-6 TPT)
I love this verse, which is why I probably could’ve cut it in half but couldn’t pull myself to not share the beauty with you. Thinking of those tears as the Father’s refreshing flow pouring out upon us to bring to life our dry, dull hearts feels all too accurate when I consider the shift that generally happens within those tears. How many times are those tear-filled moments our breakthrough climactic moment, leading us to rise up in a new way and receive the Lord’s restoration? Tears can bring refreshment.
We’re going to feel like we are face down in the mud sometimes, or more maybe accurately, sinking sand. But let those tears flow, entrusting the Lord is using every drop to anoint you for this, and for you to be able to anoint others who will someday find themselves in similar situations. There is no shame here. Only anointing.