As a teacher, I’ve seen tears. I’ve seen tears of students when their feelings have been hurt by another student or when they are injured in a playground fall. I’ve also seen the tears of the child that was “caught” doing something they weren’t supposed to do. I’ve seen the tears as well of the child who riddled with guilt comes to confess his wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness. Regardless of the reason, their tears dried.
Yet, tears I’ve experienced in my career aren’t only those of students. I’ve also seen the tears of parents. I remember two mothers in particular who met with me after school to discuss their sons’ challenges. Both moms shared the same heartfelt wish that their child would suddenly “get it” and start making more progress academically. These two moms both had their sons in my classroom (I believe) the same year. One of them had her older son in my classroom previously. While older brother was my third grader, he suddenly “clicked” into a desire to read. Younger brother never did develop that desire. Mom was saddened and worried. [FYI my nephew who is very bright and a mechanical engineering student at WKU has also never developed that connection to reading….for some….it’s just not their thing…at least not yet.] The other mother and I are friends outside of the school building, and I’ve had the joy of seeing her son develop, finish his degree, and find his post-college job. In both situations, their tears dried….and smiles of gladness were found.
Furthermore, I’ve seen the tears of my colleagues. Whether it’s the tears shed because of a cancer diagnosis, after a less-than-respectful observation report, or the death of a parent or loved one. The tears have fallen. I remember when I was being scolded in the office for not turning field trip money in ahead of our trip….of course this was while my brother-in-law was in the hospital having suffered a stroke….the office staff didn’t know this, so she was a bit baffled when her correction turned into my emotional breakdown. Guess what? The tears dried. The field trip happened without problems. Life continues.
Honestly, way back when I was growing up and living at home with my parents and sisters, I remember countless times when we would tease our mom for crying during movies. Alas, those decisions come back and bite me. Why? Well, in this time of “stay home-stay healthy”, I’ve watched more movies than usual. At least five of them SO FAR have triggered my eye ducts to leak. Each time the waterfall starts, I think back to those times we chuckled at Mom. Sorry Mom….I guess it’s part of our wiring.
What about vegetable soup? Have you ever cried over soup? Me neither….until Wednesday….when Steve & Robin brought me soup & biscuits from Bob Evan’s just to show appreciation and care. There they went….dripping down my cheeks.
Tears didn’t stop there. A week ago, I had the honor of singing on praise team at Good Friday and Easter services. As I started the car on Friday night to head home, the eyes leaked AGAIN…this time as I realized how much I MISS being with others during worship. I’m so thankful that we have the ability to worship together while they’re at church leading praises and preaching the Word. Yet, I thoroughly miss being in the physical presence of my church family.
Need some more proof? Last Thursday (4/9), I was talking on the phone with my girl who always chooses to “do a little dance” as her morning greeting at school. We literally talked for 30 minutes. She was her same happy chatty self. As I hung up, I cried realizing how much I miss seeing my kiddos in person. Then, a few days later when I commented on a purple mask her mom had posted on Facebook, I said, “I love the purple one, but I already have 2.” She quickly replied that her daughter said that I would like that mask when she saw it. Then, she told me how her daughter’s disposition changed back to “normal” after our 30-minute talk. You see, her daughter loves school, and she’s really having a hard time with not being there with me and her friends. Tears fell….again.
You see….it seems like tears are plentiful. Whether they’re happy tears or sad tears. Whether they’re confused tears or thankful tears. Tears….are part of life.
And in the end, in the words of my sweet friend Melissa…..tears will dry. So wipe your eyes and live life by serving others, being steadfast, and staying committed to your task. As a Christian, my task is pursuing righteousness to be more like Christ each day. What’s your task? What are you pursuing? Whatever it is, I am confident of two things. Tears will fall, and those tears will dry.