Did you know that crying is great for you? Well, I didn’t know that either, but at a caregiving workshop, a nurse told us, “Tears are good for your health.” So, I went home, and I looked it up on Google and found more than 13 reasons that it’s okay to have a good cry.
Let me share four of the physical benefits of crying.
- Tears help us see. They not only lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids, but they also prevent dehydration.
- Tears remove toxins from our body that build up because of stress. They are like a massage session, but they cost a lot less.
- Tears kill bacteria.
- Tears lower stress: they are like perspiration in that exercising and crying both relieves stress.
If tears are so darn good for us, why do we hide them? The truth is, many of us feel uncomfortable if we cry in front of someone. And, oh! How awkward it can feel when someone cries in our presence.
Consider this: sitting with someone who is crying is a form of caregiving.
Tears can communicate depths of feelings which words alone cannot express. As theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff states, “Another’s tears are salve on our wounds.” So, when I’m suffering and you cry for me (or with me) your tears, as a caregiver, are like soothing salve on my wounds.
Another question: do you know the shortest verse in the Bible? It’s John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” You will remember the story, Lazarus, a friend of, Jesus has died and his sisters, Martha and Mary are grieving, and Jesus comes and Martha says, “Lord, if you’d been here, my brother would not have died” and Jesus sees the depth of their sorrow. And he weeps.
I like what author Max Lucado says after that about why Jesus weeps and what it tells us. He says “Jesus weeps, so that we will know that grieving is not disbelieving. Blooded eyes don’t represent a faithless heart. A person can enter a cemetery, Jesus certain of life after death and still have a twin tower crater in their hearts. Jesus did. He wept and he knew he was 10 minutes from seeing a living Lazarus and his tears give you and me permission to shed our own tears.”
Grief does not mean you don’t trust, it’s simply that you can’t stand the thought of another day without the David or Elsie or Frank or Lazarus in your life.
Max Lucado also said, “I want to insert an announcement: Jesus weeps. Tears aren’t just for women. Perhaps many of us have been taught that tears are for women and tears are signs of weakness and women are permitted to be weak. Baloney! Tears are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Our tears testify to our love.”
And did you know that Jesus takes special notice of our tears?
Psalm 56:8, says, that God “puts our tears in a bottle and enters them into the record he keeps of our lives.” Tears are good for us—whether we are the caregiver or the suffering. Go ahead and have a good cry.