I was always quick to cry as a child if I got hurt. I remember one particularly unflattering picture of me as a child, I was probably 7 or 8 and I had apparently hurt my ankle. I’m sitting in a chair, blotchy, red-faced, bawling. I think my mom took the picture because I was being overly dramatic. I probably wasn’t hurt all that bad.
But I guess as is normal, as I grew up, I definitely cried less.
I was never one to cry happy tears. Never one to be moved to tears by a sappy movie or commercial. I always made fun of my mom for how quick she was to tear up over things I thought didn’t warrant the faintest sniff. I was lovingly and jokingly referred to as being cold – a heart like a “cold stone floor,” was the joke. It sounds more harsh than it was – it was never meant seriously; for the most part, I cared about people and I felt compassion for people, I just wasn’t a crier.
I say wasn’t, because I am now. I cry almost daily and it’s ridiculous. I cry at sad stories. I cry watching Dr. Phil or Ellen. I cry during Google commercials, I’m serious. Google commercials! I cry reading books. I cry reading/watching/hearing stories about people who are living their dreams. I cry during movies. I cry describing my favorite book to my mom. I cry talking about sad things. I cry talking about happy things. I cry so much I’m wondering what the heck is wrong with my tear ducts. I’m not talking all out sob fests, but watery eyes at the very least and several tears at most – on average. The other day I sobbed so hard I thought I would stop breathing. Today, I had tears in my eyes almost the entire time I read the book Kisses from Katie.
I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make here. I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet. I still feel like the same person who thought crying all the time was silly. But, now I’m trying to hide my tears from my mom while we watch some dumb show on TV, thinking about all the times I laughed at her for doing the same.
Is my heart just more sensitive now to the pain and joy of others? Have I become more empathetic and compassionate with age?
I googled “What does the Bible say about tears?” and I found this interesting article called “A Tearless Society.” I suggest giving it a read, I found it enlightening.
What about you, what makes you cry?