“Mom, when we cry, why does water come out of our eyes? Why didn’t God make it so that spaghetti comes out of our noses or spit shoots out of our ears?”
These were the theological musings of my kids last week. And while I don’t know the answers to their questions, it is interesting to think about. It's interesting to think that in times of sorrow or grief, God allows our vision to be distorted through tears. He allows our sight to become blurry as we cry, for our world to grow fuzzy and cloudy from our sadness. He allows water to come out of our eyes.
At 7 years old, my girls already know that we live in a broken world. They’ve experienced loss, pain, hurt, and grief. And as grown-ups, we have too. Throughout life, we’ve had seasons when our hearts have become heavy and our eyes have grown misty. We can’t see the next step ahead. We live in a world that merits our tears. We’re surrounded by hurt, and in response, we cry. Water fills our eyes to the brim and drips slowly down our cheeks. We can’t see clearly through the tears of life’s sorrows.
Thankfully Scripture is not quiet about our tears. Read what the psalmists say about our cries to the Lord:
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their cry for help.” – Psalms 34:15
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.” – Psalm 34:17
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry for help and saves them.” – Psalms 145:19
“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him from all his troubles.” – Psalm 34:6
Did you notice a pattern in these verses? Interestingly, throughout Scripture, God often connects our eyes with His ears. The people cry with their eyes, and God hears with His ears. It’s a familiar pattern in Scripture that goes all the way back to the Old Testament when the Israelites repetitively rebelled against God and suffered the consequences of their sins. In their pain, they cried out to the Lord for mercy, and over and over again, God heard their cries and delivered them. Each time they cried out to Him, God listened and responded. In the same way, the psalmists repetitively cried out to the Lord. They knew that even when their vision was distorted through tears, fear, sorrow, and pain, God would hear, and He would act.
Our tears are not the end of our story. Rather, our teary vision and groaning hearts point us to the One we trust in by faith, the One we cannot yet see. He created our bodies with the ability to cry, but like an attentive, compassionate Father who protects His children, He also responds to our tears. God hears our cries and knows our pain.
So, even when our eyes are blurry and our hearts are heavy, we cling to the promise: He is coming again. Even when God allows water to come out of our eyes, when we cannot see clearly through our grief, we press on. We live by faith and not by sight, remembering that one day, we will see Him face to face. One day, there will be no more need for crying. He will wipe all the water from our eyes. There will be no more tears, crying, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4). The former things will pass away. We will be with Him in paradise, and all will be right. But until then, the brokenness of life pushes us toward the God who hears our cries. We trust in God through heavy tears and blurred vision because He will rescue us. Our tears before God are never in vain.He hears our cries, and He will make all things new.