Tears come easily to babies and little children but, as we get older, we are expected to hold them back. It is generally accepted that big boys and girls don’t cry. Any adult giving way to tears is considered to be emotional and weak. This is unfortunate because bottled up tears may later reappear as deep depression, physical illness or negative emotion, which can lead to harmful behaviour. We are given tears for a reason. The release of tears with the support of someone who cares is a healthy and healing thing to do. Jesus was described as “a man of sorrows acquainted with grief.” He wept for grief at the state of the human race and he wept at the death of Lazarus. Unless we follow His example and allow ourselves to weep also, we will continue to break out in unhealthy ways.
Jesus was born into this world as a little child to be fully present at the darkest point in the history of the human race. The forces of evil were obscuring the light of genuine spiritual truth and innocent people were being possessed. The Divine Being became human to bring us back to the light. By taking on a human nature through Mary, his mother, Jesus was able to be subject to temptation by every inherited tendency. Although some of these spiritual battles were grievous, He was able to withstand each one, clearing the forces of darkness away and restoring spiritual balance and freedom to the world. By this process, He glorified His human nature and paved the way for us to follow in His footsteps. (The process of our regeneration or being born again parallels the process of the Lord’s glorification, as we overcome our negative or destructive tendencies one by one). Gradually we return to innocence but this time it is an innocence born of wisdom from a life of usefulness and conscious surrender to the Divine will.
We tend to resist change. The process of being made new inevitably involves pain and grief for the loss of our old way of being. But the promise for the future of a healed people is that “He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared” (Rev. 21:4).
Picture a hurricane – a swirling mass of raging wind and rain, leaving destruction wherever it goes. Now think of the eye of the hurricane, a place of calm in the centre of all that mayhem. It was revealed to Swedenborg through the angels in heaven that everything in nature has a spiritual significance. The eye of a hurricane is a picture of a spiritual reality – that God is present even in the worst of circumstances. The storms may rage about us and within us but God is there with His calming influence if we just reach out for Him. Despite appearances to the contrary, God does run the universe but He ensures that people have freewill. He is “giving us a choice between the way that leads to life and the way that leads to death” ( Jeremiah 21:8). Here life means the heaven of being loving, just and kind, and death means a hell of selfishness and worldliness. The world is in a sorry state with wars and violence and terrorism. When we see all this disorder in the world we can make the choice to not be part of it and not to give in to the kind of negativity that sparks these events. We can each make the world a better place by starting with ourselves and our own families. Little by little the world will change as we each make the choice for goodness. Let us remember where goodness comes from. It originates in God and flows into us as we turn to Him and away from the hellish influences that cause us to lash out at others in so many different ways. God loves everyone no matter what their state of life may be and He is reaching out in love but we need to be ready to receive His love and put it into practice in our lives. We may worry about the state of the world and feel like we need to be more in control but we need to break free from worry and hand control back to God. He is with us on our life’s journey every step of the way nudging us toward good choices but never forcing us. We all make mistakes but God is forgiving if we are regretful and try to do what is right. There will be miracles that happen when we will know for sure that “the Lord is in this place” and that we are on the right path. When you find yourself overwhelmed at a crossroads in your life or in the middle of disorder of whatever nature, take time to breathe and feel the presence of the One who made you and will never forsake you. Then take His hand and trust Him to lead you to a place of peace. As the song goes, “Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea.” There really can be calm amidst the storm for our troubled hearts.