What am I thankful for? Frank Lewis

Posted by Chris.Arends on November 10, 2020

I have been asked to write about what I am thankful for as part of our blog series leading up to Thanksgiving Day.   And, while there are a great many obvious things that immediately leap to mind, I think that, considering what has transpired this year, I am most thankful for tears.

Did you know that there are three kinds of tears?   There is a kind of tear, known as a basal tear, that feeds and protects our eyes – keeping them healthy.   There is a kind of tear, known as a reflex tear, that occurs when we need to flush something foreign (smoke, or onion fumes for example) out of our eyes.  Finally, there’s the third kind of tear, the emotional tear; and what a year this tear has had.

One of the many consequences of the pandemic has been a renaissance of the family dinner.    In years past, when our schedules were only confined by the amount of gasoline that we could burn in a 24hr period, we rarely found time to eat dinner as a family.   Since March, the Clan Lewis has spent countless hours eating together as a family.  On many occasions Jennie and I have found ourselves laughing with (and at time, at) our kids to the point of tears.   I am thankful this year, for tears of joy.

If the average person makes between 15 and 30 gallons of tears annually (yes – I looked it up) – suffice it to say we’ve likely exceeded the average in 2020 just on sadness alone.   This has been a year of unimaginable loss, frustratingly necessary if not at times unwelcomed change, and incredible social upheaval.  Whether born of sadness due to loss or separation, or change, or injustice, the tears of these raw emotions have a way of triggering that most genuine set of human instincts: the drive to act with compassion, to understand, to comfort, and to heal.   So yes, in a way, I am thankful for tears of sadness. 

With all that said, is anyone as curious as I am as to why God gave us three kinds of tears?   Our tears protect and nourish.  Our tears wash away those things that cause harm.   And finally, our tears bring a uniquely broken yet commonly called people together.    Perhaps that’s why the primary component of our tears, is water.   Should our tears remind us of the waters of our baptism?   Perhaps.   Regardless, this year, I am thankful for the gift of tears.

Frank Lewis

November 10, 2020

 

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