This summer I started reading a most wonderful book by Emily Freeman titled A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live. In this book, Emily calls her readers to realize we are all image-bearers and artists. We were born to create and be a “living poem”.
While helping people discover the art they were made to live, she made a profound but very little statement about listening to your tears. What?!
She went on to explain that the things that move us to tears should be seen as some of the most important things in our lives. Tears are “magic water” and help us see the hidden picture in our paint-by-water lives. We are moved to tears by the sheer beauty or horrific awfulness of various aspects of life and should take these moments to evaluate the bigger story behind our tears.
Sometimes the things that make us cry have nothing to do with that particular item, scene, etc., but there is a story or a memory that is triggered by the image we saw or the music we heard.
Since a child, art and music have moved my soul to tears. The gut-wrenching beauty of “Canon in D” or Van Gogh’s Starry Night are enough to make me forget all else but the wonder overwhelming my senses. Children in Myanmar, snow on the mountains in Montana, and rain falling on rusty cans are all other things that can easily make me cry.
But these days there are much different things that are making my eyes overflow. Other things that are shaking the depths of my heart. These days, my heart is being moved by Jesus.
The last few weeks have upset my life in some big ways. Rather, Jesus has turned things right side up. All that Jesus is has grabbed a hold of heart and is literally shaking the tears from my eyes. He is doing something in me that is painfully good. He has called me to something else—something different, and while I know just a pinch of what that might all entail, I have a settled sense of peace and rest in his good plans. I cannot refuse him, nor do I want to.
I have missed him. Only I didn’t know just how deeply I missed him. The full, beautiful, precious gospel has gone after my heart in a way that hasn’t happened since 2009, when I first found saving faith in Jesus. These days I am finding that not much else matters but simply being with Jesus—enjoying him, treasuring him, and realizing he truly satisfies. Lives that have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13) are lives that are consumed with Jesus. I have a long way to go in this, but it is my prayer that by the time 2018 breaks through, much more of my life will have been lived with Jesus.
If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then tears must be the windshield wipers that make things clearer, dearer, and sweeter. And while there are many good things that move our hearts to tears, by far the best one is Jesus. He is a love worth crying over. He is a relationship worth being real for. He is a joy worth singing, writing, and speaking about. He is a Treasure worth giving everything else up for. He really, really is.