The language of tears

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

It’s the Boston marathon. This year, 26,839 people have entered, signing their names to a race that will mean blood, sweat and tears in a 26.2-mile test of endurance. Then bombs explode, and hell rains down.

How quickly life can change. In the blink of an eye, the flash of a detonator, it all blows up. A mother close by sustains an injury to her brain; her first-grade daughter loses a leg; and her eight-year-old son is killed. He’d just come back with ice cream.

Yesterday morning, an email comes. “My husband, he’s a firefighter.”

It’s a friend. Her young husband, father of their infant son, had received a call the night before that mobilized the team. There’d been a terrible accident.

On a dark, dark night, two horses. A 19-year-old driver, a bend in the road and hell, it seems, has opened up.

Her husband and his brother, both volunteers, work to free her from the wreckage. For mere seconds, there’s a pulse, and then she’s gone.

In a tiny, tiny town where everyone knows everyone else, they know this driver. It’s the fire chief’s daughter they’ve extracted, only to watch her slip away before their very eyes.

When they finish, he stumbles home, shaken to the core, to deliver the terrible news to his waiting wife. The young girl’s father, he tells her, “laid on her blanketed body and wept and wept.”

I can see the scene at the side of that road. And cannot bear it. I drop my face into my hands and weep, too. Crying out loud, for the face that fills my mind is that of my own 19-year-old driver.

“Oh, Lord.” It’s a groan. “Let these tears be a prayer!” For there are, this day, no words…

When tragedy strikes, bringing loss unexpected, no words. When relationships explode, bringing hurt, bringing pain, no words. When the bottom drops out, when the sky falls straight down, there are, many days, just no words.

And so we weep. Out loud when we must, and the tears that rain down, those are prayers. The One who sees all, He can read in the tears. Can hear what they say. Can see what they mean. He can, even when there aren’t words.

Today, I give thanks, for I know this is true: He hears every prayer. He never drops one. He prays for us, too, and not always with words (Rom. 8:26). For He, our friend Jesus, knows well the language of tears.

“And the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” – Rev. 5:8 

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