Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Cry me a river

Research has shown that tears contain chemicals related to stress. More than a decade ago, a Minnesota biochemist conducted the first landmark research on the chemical composition of tears. He was able to isolate prolactin, which is released by the pituitary gland during times of emotional intensity.

Today, specialists agree that when we cry we are actually "washing away" harmful effects of stress. William Fry, in his book Crying: The Mystery of Tears, suggests that women, whom society allows to cry more freely, are able to excrete their "stress waste" more readily than men, who are conditioned to block this natural cleansing system.

While scientists are only now discovering the benefits of crying, God understood them from the beginning. Did you know that God keeps a record of our tears? The Psalmist says they are listed on a scroll (Ps. 56:8). Our tears reveal the depth of our pain, and God cares when we are suffering even if we can't express it in words or articulate it in prayer.

Consider who God chose to be his messenger at the most critical time in Israel's history—Jeremiah, "the weeping prophet." Jeremiah didn't always have the words to describe his feelings, but he wasn't ashamed to bury his head in his hands and sob. When words fail you, can you, like Jeremiah, let the tears flow? Can you identify with him when he said, "My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees" (Lam.3:49-50)?

~ Les and Leslie Parrott It's Okay to Cry - Marriage Partnership, Fall 1998

No comments: