i wish you tears in a bottle

I remember coming home one day from a school carnival with a heart full of sorrow. I didn’t get my face painted. A true tragedy to my six-year-old self. I watched as rainbows, dolphins, and butterflies were drawn onto the rosy cheeks of my schoolyard peers whilst, sadly, my own cheek remained unpainted. I feared coming home with a painted pink unicorn. I thought Grandma would not approve of painted faces. When I got home Grandma asked me how the fair was. “It was fun”, I said as two disobedient tears slid down my cheek. “Whats the matter”, Grandma asked gently. I then related my sad story. Grandma quietly smiled, promised my cheek would surely don a rainbow cloud next time, and then told me how no tears are ever wasted. “Each one is kept”, Grandma said, “by someone who loves you very much”.

Since then I’ve cried so many tears. For all different kinds of reasons. Tears of frustration, tears of sadness, tears of remorse, tears shed when leaving behind a loved one, the tears cried when my dog Gorby died, or my tears the summer I missed fourth of July fireworks. Tears of compassion, wonder, and awe. Tears of all kinds.

Maybe tears are the silent words of the heart. Maybe tears are the heart’s secret language. Maybe they are shed when the spirit stirs and the human tongue is incapabale of expressing the heart’s exact meaning. Perhaps each tear means something entirely different. Perhaps they pour out straight from the heart and perhaps that is why they are so important. Perhaps.

Each one is kept. Of this, I am sure.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalm 56: 8-9

Dear World, I wish you tears in a bottle.

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