By Teresa Poucher
There are three different types of tears. Emotional tears are made in response to joy, sadness, or other intense emotions. Basal tears are produced to keep the cornea lubricated. Reflex tears are caused by chemical irritants in onions, tear gas, and so on.
The chemical structure of each of these tears is different. I saw images of each kind of tear under a microscope and they did not look the same. While each type of tear was unique, I was taken aback by the tears of grief. The San Mateo Daily Journal posted an article 1 explaining how the emotional tear contained a protein called prolactin. This is known to control breast milk production. The other chemical found in emotional tears is leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin that reduces pain and works to improve mood. So, is all that crying necessary?
A professor at the University of Kassel in Germany conducted close personal interviews with many volunteers to see if people who seldom cried differed significantly from those who cried more frequently. 2 He found that non-crying people were more withdrawn and their relationships were more distant. They also experienced more negative emotions, like anger and hatred, and were more aggressive than people who cried. So, is all that crying necessary?
“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength… (Psalm 84:6-7)
When we look up the word “Baca,” it means “weeping.” Many parents raise their children to not cry: “I’ll give you something to cry about!” But here, we see that crying is going to turn into a blessing: “…make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.”
History says they would pass through Baca to go to Jerusalem to the house of God. The journey there was extremely hot and dry. They would dig small pits and God would send the former rain to fill them making pools. The former rain was always considered a blessing.
“…put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalms 56:8
I was once working through some difficulties I was facing in my life. While trying to get healing and working through it all, I sought the Lord with repentance and tears. He spoke to my heart some of the sweetest words I’ve ever heard: “I still have your first tear.”
1) Laraia, B., (2006, Jan 12). Gender Differences and the Benefits of Crying. San Mateo Daily Post, Retrieved from https://www.smdailyjournal.com/opinion/gender-differences-and-the-health-benefits-of-crying/article_ccff1ce1-20c4-5f47-99dd-83a99c80f2d8.html2) Oaklander, M. (2016, March 16). The Science of Crying. Time, Retrieved from https://time.com/collection/guide-to-happiness/4254089/science-crying/