Diana Ross sings a song that asks this question: “Didn’t you know you have to cry sometime?” However, a popular myth in our day says: “Strong people don’t cry,” or “Real men don’t cry.” Why, then, do they have tear ducts?
The truth is: crying is one of the most ignored human resources. Tears are an outlet for pain, a relief for grief. Genuine crying can comfort the calamity of a broken heart.
Tears are a sign that someone has moved beyond mere intellectual understanding to deeply felt emotion — beyond analysis to caring. Tears often reveal heart-felt compassion and concern.
Tears communicate far more effectively than words. When we “weep with those who weep,” we experience one of the most profund human connections.
Tears are frequently indicative of humility and brokenness — an admission that life is far more significant than mere image and appearance. To shed genuine, heart-felt tears is to touch the inner reality of the human spirit.
Humans haven’t always believed the myth that says that tears are a sign of weakness. Take the ancient Hebrews for instance. They believed that real men, tough men, know how to cry. King David, a warrior and man’s man, said: “I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears.” And: “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping.” He also said: “When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn.”
Jeremiah was known as “the weeping prophet.” A popular song from the Jewish Babylonian captivity said: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” When Nehemiah heard about the heard about the condition of his fellow Jews in Jerusalem, he said: “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.”
Here’s a quotation from Paul of Tarsus: “For, as I have often told you before and now say again, even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.” And: “I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears.” He also said: “Be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”
If you examine the Old and New Testaments, you will discover that the examples I quoted are far from exceptions. Most of the ancient Hebrews freely cried. They did so publicly and without embarrassment.
When we hold back our tears, we cut ourselves off from much of our humanity. Why not let your tears go, the next time they want to flow? Much in our society is dreadfully disturbing nowadays. Yet, for the most part, we remain cool, calm, and collected. Perhaps we could use some passionate weeping.