Thursday, January 27, 2005

Shedding tears

Tears! Tears!

Why do we shed tears?

Why is it that there are times when we want to shed tears but we cannot cry?

What is the use of tears anyhow?

Why not substitute laughter?

Why not make this a world where all the people are well, and are eternal strangers to pain and aches?

What is the use of the storm when we might have a perpetual calm?

Why, when a family is put together, not have them all stay, or if they must be transplanted to make other homes, then have them all live?

The family record telling a story of marriages and births, but of no deaths.

Why not have the harvests chase each other without fatiguing toil, and all our homes afflicted?

Why the hard pillow, the hard bed, the hard struggle?

It is easy enough to explain a smile, or a success, or a congratulation; but, come now, and bring all your dictionaries and all your philosophies and all your religions, and try to find help to explain a tear.

A chemist will tell you that it is made up of salt and lime, and other component parts; but he misses the chief ingredients - the acid of a soured life, the viper sting of a bitter memory, the fragments of a broken heart.

I think that a tear is in fact agony in solution.

It is keep this world from being too attractive. Something must be done to make us willing to leave this existence. If it were not for trouble, this world would be a good enough Heaven for all of us.

You and I would be willing to take a lease of this life for a hundred million years, if there were no trouble. The earth cushioned and upholstered and pillared and chandeliered with such expense, no story of other worlds could enchant us.

We would say: "Let well enough alone. If you want to die and have your body disintegrated in the dust, and your soul go out on a celestial adventure, then you can go; but this world is good enough for me."

You might as well go to a man who has just entered the Louvre at Paris, and tell him to hasten off to the picture galleries of Venice or Florence. "Why," he would say, "what is the use of my going there? There are Rembrandts and Raphaels here that I haven't looked at yet."

No man wants to go out of this world, or out of any house until he has a better house to go to.

To cure this wish to stay here, God must somehow create a disgust for our surroundings.

How shall He do it? He cannot afford to deface His horizon, or to tear off a fiery panel from the sunset, or to subtract an anther from the water lily, or to banish the sweet aroma from the flower, or to drag the robes of the morning in the mire.

You cannot expect a Leonardo Da Vinci to mar and deface his own paintings, or a Michelangelo to dash out his own "Last Judgment," or a Handel to discord his "Israel in Egypt"; and you cannot expect God to spoil the architecture and music of His own world. How then are we to be made willing to leave?

Here is where troubles come in.

After a man has had a good deal of trouble, he says,
"Well, I am ready to go.
If there is a house somewhere whose roof doesn't leak, I would like to live there.
If there is an atmosphere somewhere that does not distress the lungs, I would like to breathe it. If there is a society somewhere where there is no tittle-tattle, I would like to live there.
If there is a home circle somewhere where I can find my lost friends, I would like to go there."

Was it not that Job had been worn out with bereavements, and sores, and a pest of a wife, that he wanted to see God?

Was it not that the prodigal son got tired of living among the hogs that he wanted to go to his father's house?


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