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No Tear is Wasted

You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalm 56:8 NLT

Our tears are never wasted and our sorrow is never wrong. Grief, pain and longing are all part of the human condition.

The psalmist here reminds us that our agonies are never unseen by God. The most private of our longings or guilt, shame or sadness are known and each tear recorded with love and tenderness by our heavenly Father.

So often, we are tempted to hide our sadness, to create a veneer of a happy marriage, talented children and thriving businesses. We do this regardless of the reality of the substance underneath, and so the burden we carry grows with our desire to keep it hidden. It’s in this place that we often underestimate both our God, our friends, community and family. Yet, we also underestimate ourselves; we are unable to realize that we would still be loved, precious and held if all our faults and failings were exposed.

At this six-month mark since our world changed, it’s natural to feel exhausted. This is a world-changing year and the milestones for it being a successful one have had to change in each of our minds. If we’re meeting our obligations, showering regularly, still talking to God and laughing a couple of times a week, then we are doing really well. Anything more than that and it’s extraordinary. Similarly, if there are days when the tears come, you’re full of fear and frustration, or the ‘big black dog’ of depression comes to visit and won’t leave, God sees and knows you.

If you need to, let the tears fall unashamedly in private and then, maybe, courageously, in safety with those you love. The loving Lord God sees and knows each one. Each loss, each care and each longing is written in His book and He is filled with nothing but compassion for you.
The Rev. Jane P. Ferguson
Associate for Liturgy, Student Ministries and Outreach
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