I am convicted that there is a reason why tears are hot and not cold, wet and not dry, and salty and not sweet. [Beyond reasons biology can explain]
When a heart is stone cold it will not pour forth—it cannot in that state produce any river [or even a stream] of emotion, compassion, or expression. Only when a heart has melted from breaking, burned from passion, been set ablaze by injustice, or sparked at the twinge of guilt that the heart becomes soft and malleable as clay. Stone cannot bleed-but a heart of flesh bleeds many tears.
The sun scorches the land sucking up life with every ray and the winds throw around all that has been cut loose. No, tears could not be dry; to be dry is only emptiness. Tears are not without life, breath, and tears are not empty. But when the clouds sigh and let go-and cry their tear drops on the aching land-life gives way and chaos takes over. The ground rejoices in heaven’s tears and is overwhelmed. The dirt spills over into mud, hot, thick, sticky mud. It creeps into the crevises, slides between the roots of the plants and between walking feet. It paints itself on the landscape so boldly that it will not be ignored. Yes, tears must be wet, messy, thick, and hot. For it is only in the wet and muddy mess that we are able to dig through the sweltering ground and find life.
Tears must be salty. As the canvases of our innards begin to be painted in our eyes and on our faces through the watercolors of our tears—they must be salty. To roll down the cheeks of flesh, to wash over humanity, and to be sealed in by skin is to be coated with salt. If our rinds were sweet we would be seduced into believing we can keep existing-and remain unaffected by our circumstances. But to lick the stinging lips of the dust creatures we are is to take on the flavor, the essence and the image of life itself; bold, piercing, and heart-wrenchingly real.
I am convicted that tears must be hot, wet, and salty. To give in to tears is to strip naked before the universe—before the mud, the salt, and the breath of life itself, fall at your feet, and wait from them to pour themselves over you. In this pouring over and this act of crying we are recreated; we are formed from mud, covered in salt, and breathed on and into. We come up from our prostrate position and lift our eyes. They no longer view a vast empty expanse, but a God, and a man. A God who fell next to us and even chose to be formed from mud, covered in slat, and breathed on and into. Our eyes lift to see this God-man—the hands that formed us now take on human hands. We realize the feet that have trod upon the clouds to break them open to pour forth heaven’s tears are now walking next to our own. The one who is the flavor and essence of life itself has now been coated in the salt of humanity to look and feel as we do. And the giver of life, the one who has breathed life into others has now been breathed into. He is one of us-formed from mud, covered in salt, and breathed into the hot breath of life. And a wonder still—the eyes that pierce our hearts to melt and release tears are now melting and breaking down. His eyes, his face are being painted by the salty watercolor tears—his own, and ours. This is the incarnation, this is the God-man, the Son of man, the Immanuel.