The Sum of All Tears (Panyo, Ninang?)

The Sum of All Tears

Everybody has cried. At least when we were babies. Crying is actually one of the signs of wellness in newborns (Good Cry, good suck, good activity!). And maybe, shedding tears also reflect emotional health (maybe even physical)- the ability to feel joy and pain, to empathize, and to allow oneself to show one’s vulnerability. Of course, it can also be a sign of stubbornness and depression.. but, I think, never of arrogance.

I cry a lot.. I cried a lot. If we are being paid for our tears, I will really be rich- some of course will be richer, a number will really be poor, and wives will be the ones supporting their families! Sensitive, ma-arte, balat-sibuyas, ma-drama, cry baby, pusong mamon– “iyakin” by any other name is still “iyakin”. And that is what I am. I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I miss someone badly (Uyyy rhyme!). I cry when I bless.. And when I could almost curse (bad yun Ninang! –“I said Almost” ). I cry in prayer.. Alone or in a crowd.. definitely in heartfelt worship.

Many people cry when they can’t express themselves in words. In the seemingly unbearable pain of a lost loved one.. embarrassment of failure and inadequacy.. unrequited love.. unrealized dream.. Injustice.. Fatigue… we cry. We cry in the beautiful heartwarming memories of the past, in triumph, in the inexplicable joy of reunions and reconciliation.. In love and in self-pity.

Recently, I’ve been crying more than I should… Conflict with friends, wedding of sister (this one is happy!), unfulfilled expectations, crying with friends, sickness, misunderstandings, demands, grumpiness, all leading to sadness and tears. Our emotional tears contain Leu-enkephalin, a natural painkiller. I guess we shed tears to wash away the “hurt.” Tears has immunoglobulins and lysozyme that can fight bacteria. Maybe we cry to protect ourselves from “infectious” ill-character (hate and grumpiness, our own and others’). Tears contain water, glucose and electrolytes. I think we cry to “nourish” our ailing spirit.

The shortest yet meaningful verse in the bible is about crying. “Jesus wept” in John 11:35. Our Lord and Savior cried and has felt as we do. And He did not stop there. He did what He can do, and glorifying His Father, raised the dead. We cannot resurrect our loved ones who passed on, or undo what has been done, but we can Glorify God. We can continue to persevere in the faith and by God’s grace persist to do His will despite a seeming stumbling block. We can “resurrect” ourselves after crying. We can live again.

The sum of all tears is supposed to be a renewed life, a second chance, an undying hope. The sum of all tears is realizing the steadfast love of a sovereign God who we can trust. “There is no glory without tears” because there is no significant relationship that can do away with tears. Tears from every kind of emotion in our relationship with God and others. And I hope tears of joy, peace, and love.. Until there is no more. (Panyo Ninang?… “Tissue na Lang please..”)
“I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

– Ninang thoughts after crying

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