“No sin can be faced without some knowledge of grace. No loss can be mourned without some intuition of new life.” (Henri Nouwen, “With Burning Hearts,” page 39.)
Facing our sin by confessing it, and mourning our losses fully, are a sign of faith; a sign we believe such endeavours are not futile; an affirmation that there can be fulfillment after loss; that mistakes and sin need not control the direction of the journey or stop the outworking of a destiny.
Mourning and confession show the seed of true God honouring faith is present. They are the evidence I am believing that another more hopeful story is still being written from eternal merciful love and wisdom into the time and space in which I live out my days on earth.
Even when my life is like a tree felled in the splendour of its prime, repentance and mourning happen because there is somewhere deep within a hearing of the heavenly message spoken over Nebuchadnezzar in the depth of his humbling and devastating losses: “Leave the stump in the ground.” When we hear that, we can face our most shameful moments and our most life altering causes of grief with hope.
Tears are a sign of faith. No earthly tears are a sign of unbelief and loss of hope or even loss of God; a sign I have lost sight, hopefully temporarily, of the God whose love is mightier than the most shame producing failure and the deepest, and most painful losses in human experience.
Have you seen in the News on T.V at some time over the years, these devastating pictures of children who are discovered in a forgotten orphanage somewhere, who are completely silent? They cried out in the past for sure, but they stopped crying out when they came to believe no one was hearing or listening.
Your crying as a believer is a sign that faith still has a beating heart and a voice, a sign of your assurance that a day of no tears is somewhere ahead and coming towards you. May the God who hears, answer you speedily, even if as you read this, you have been mourning through a long night. May the dawn of a new day of joy come for you.