96 Tears

This is the title of a song by Question Mark and the Mysterians, a '60's garage band. The little band I was in as a young teenager covered this song, and I was the singer. It's probably better for all of us that my career in rock-n-roll didn't take off, but we did appear on local TV for a week that summer long ago. I still like the song.

Jesus wept as He approached Jerusalem, says Luke 19:41. I'm not a big crier, but there are a few things that get my waterworks going pretty regularly. Here is a list of some of them I have noted---

As a child watching television, when Lassie came home, bounding over the hill, and Richard Kimble was acquitted and finally stopped running.

Later, the last two minutes of any episode of "Little House On The Prairie," even if I had just walked in and didn't know a thing about the story.

Hearing portions of memorable speeches by Churchill, the Kennedy brothers, and Ronald Reagan. FDR's prayer on D-Day, too.

Very often when I see someone being baptized. In a baptistery, a swimming pool, river, or beach. In Tanzania years ago I was privileged to baptize new believers in shallow mud holes under a brutal sun. They cried, and I did, too.

I tear up every time I see a commercial for St. Jude’s Children's Hospital. We give to them annually at the end of the year, but Audrey has to hide the checkbook whenever I watch an appeal.

The first wedding I cried at was that day in Danville when I realized that the bride's parents were my age and that I related more to them than to the young people standing in front of me. Then, a couple of months ago when I married my nephew, calling the name of his grandmother, no doubt watching the ceremony from heaven's balcony.

I completely lost it when speaking at Ray Hardee's funeral, a father figure to me in my Orlando church.

When Melanie dies in "Gone with the Wind"-- every time I see it. Also, the last two minutes of Redford and Streisand in "The Way We Were.” I love watching performance poetry that reaches deep into the soul, and whenever the golden buzzer is pushed for someone on America's Got Talent.

I cry when "Taps" is played at Arlington or Quantico, and a folded flag is presented.

Any sermon by the late Fred Craddock would do it, even when I walked in and heard just the last two minutes.

The day in a worship service in Mandeville, Jamaica, when God "touched me" and called me as a teenager to a lifetime of ministry.

God records our tears in His book and places them all in His bottle, says Psalm 56: 8. I am trying to keep something of a record of them, too, and my journals across the years help with that.

"Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected ones, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are but, more often than not, God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next.”  
-- Frederick Buechner
Now, let that thought settle in your spirit awhile.

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