The language of tears

If your tears could speak, what story would they tell?

If tears could speak, what would yours say? Would they talk of traffic tickets, stubbed toes, and petty arguments with friends? If tears told stories, what tales would yours tell? Do they pour from your ducts mourning the loss of a loved one, celebrating the birth of a baby, painfully waiting for prayers to be answered?

We all have moments when spoken words fail to communicate the depth of emotion we are feeling inside. In the absence of words, the language of tears comes forth. There is a biblical passage from the book of Psalms, chapter 56, verse 8, that says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Reading that verse makes me wonder: “What is the inspiration behind the tears collected from my life?”

Two weeks ago, I got out of bed at 6:30 a.m. I don’t usually wake up that early on a Saturday, but I made an exception for this day. Earlier in the week I’d called a crisis pregnancy center in a neighboring city to ask if they did sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics. A kind woman on the phone told me that they did and invited me to join them as soon as I could. As I headed to my car that morning, groggy and half-awake, I told myself, “This is so worth it.”

I drove to a Catholic church, where I met some brave warriors for life. We walked to the abortion clinic in a line, praying with every step we took. An elderly man led the march carrying a large wooden cross. As we passed through the inner-city streets, strangers stared, smiled…and one even screamed, “My name is Gail! Pray for me!” When we arrived, most of the group stood across the street praying, while a few of us stood on the sidewalk near the clinic entrance. Since it was my first time there, a sidewalk counselor told me she would do the talking and I could pray.

My mind was full of things to pray for. I knew women were terminating their pregnancies at that moment. Would it cause them pain for years to come? Would they look back on this day with regret? With those thoughts followed tears. One by one they rolled down my cheeks and onto the cement beneath me. Soon a gentle cry became a sob. It was almost as if I could feel the very heart of God – for every man, woman, and child in that place. Not only the ones getting an abortion, but the nurses and doctors as well.

I knelt on the ground, put my head down, and let the tears flow freely. In the middle of my tears, a thought came to me. “For the tears you cry, babies will be saved.” The thought resonated so deep inside me. What if my tears were prayers that could save lives? What if weeping in front of a clinic in Connecticut somehow led to babies being saved all over the world? Whether it was a voice from above or my mere thoughts, I don’t know. All I know is that it filled me with faith.

Jeremiah was a prophet for the nation of Israel. In the book of Jeremiah, chapter 9, we see the prophet mourning over the destruction of his people. He declares in verse 1:

Oh, that my head were a spring of water
and my eyes a fountain of tears!
I would weep day and night
for the slain of my people.

In chapter 9, verses 20-12, the Lord Almighty releases a word through Jeremiah. The word is calling the people to wail and cry because of the death in their midst caused by their rebellious ways.

Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail;
teach one another a lament.
 Death has climbed in through our windows
and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
and the young men from the public squares.

Jeremiah knew there was a purpose in his mourning. He believed that his tears were heard in heaven. Do we believe that our tears can touch the heart of God? If a baby’s desperate cry causes a father to come running, how much more will the desperate cry of believers cause the Merciful Heavenly Father to come with his justice?

Years ago, I sat outside an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., weeping. The ladies had gone in, and I didn’t know what else to do but cry. As I wept, a woman stopped me. “Are you scared to go in?” she asked. “No”, I replied. “I’m not here to have an abortion. I’m crying because babies are being killed in there.” The woman’s face changed quickly, and her compassion turned to disgust. She shot me a look and walked away without a word.

Many in our nation suffer from misguided compassion. We must be willing to feel the pain God feels for every dream of his heart destroyed in the womb. We must shed tears for the women and men who are suffering loss from this great death decree.

As I was writing this article, I got a text message from my friend Alan. He is a poet who loves to share truth through spoken word and rap. He had no idea what I was writing about, but he felt inspired to send me this poem.

A heart beats. Just enough to weep. Weep at how your beauty has the ability to speak. Meek a term that you call a leader. A Prophet once called a seer. You’ve somehow granted me the ability to be both. God almighty praise Your holy name. May my journey not be destined for fame, but to only to rest in Your glory. And now I shall tell Your story. America sits in its impatience, while the blood of innocent children cry out in revelation. Pro choice now receives a voice and jubilation. Will this ever end in the words proclamation? Because I can hear screams of the children that never dreamed dreams and it’s driving me crazy. Lord save me from this heartbreak and pain. These mothers that throw away your gifts are borderline insane.  I just can’t take it, a heart that aborts a child is shapeless. God will be the Judge and jury in all the cases of the seemingly nameless faces. Rest assured the Creator will explore every aspect of every child in these abortion clinics doors. God Your heart is just, Mothers how bout yours!

Let your tears be silent prayers. May God hear our cries and end abortion in our land.

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