Does Illness Ever Make You Feel Like a Cry Baby?

Physical and emotional changes can leave us feeling like a “cry baby” sometimes, but God takes special care in treasuring our tears. Vicki explains. . .

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. . . a time to weep and a time to laugh. . . (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)”

I’m good at crying.

Sometimes my tears take me by surprise.

Recently, I had to apologize to the illustrator of my picture book. He misunderstood a question I asked him, thinking I wasn’t completely happy with his work. Which couldn’t be farther from the truth!

I unwittingly offended Ryan by asking if he could change the color of the central character’s hair. Since Ryan made Beth’s eyes look like my granddaughter’s eyes, I thought it might be nice to have their hair color also match.

Ryan had finished most of the illustrations. No wonder he thought I wasn’t happy with the pictures. The defensive tone of his email made me realize my request had been thoughtless.

I approached him after church to ask for his forgiveness and got choked up. Forcing back tears made it hard to talk clearly.

example of illustration for Vicki's book

example of illustration for Vicki’s book

Stop crying! Just talk. He needs to know you didn’t mean to insult him. Tears, just dry up!

My tears made his wife uncomfortable. (Can you blame her?) “I’ll go get the kids. . .” And she was off.

Finally, I cleared up the misunderstanding.

Minutes later, I ran into a parent of two former students. Kim informed me David and Andrew both have Niemann Pick Type C (NPC) Disease which is similar to childhood Alzheimer’s. Now that was the time to cry! Miraculously, the Lord helped me remain composed while I talked to her sons.

Since diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I seem to be a master crier. My tear ducts have a multitude of reasons to sprinkle water down my cheeks. Sadness, gratitude, joy, passion, empathy. . .

Waterworks erupt to enhance emotion. Passion leads to puddles. Sadness turns to sobs.

Streams of tears enhance my laughter. Gushers of gratitude flood my eyes.

Perhaps the lesions on my brain impair my ability to withhold tears. But, just maybe crying isn’t such a bad thing. Unsuspecting recipients witness my leaky display of emotions. And can relate to what stirs my heart. Surely, they appreciate my human frailties.

Christ who wept at Lazarus’ tomb, uses my tears to “weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).”

Prayer: Dear Father, touch my heart for what moves Yours–so my tears of compassion will comfort others. Thank You that Your joy is the dam which holds back tears of depression. Comfort those who find their way to Rest Ministries. Turn any tears of sadness into joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness.

Do you cry easily? Have you ever been called a “cry baby” even in jest? How has God used your tears?

It is okay to cry. Really. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Only he who cries out . . . may sing.” This is Mandisa singing “Just Cry.” Hope it brings comfort to you today. You have cried out, but remember, you can also sing. -Lisa