I started with tears, not because I am sad or because of the frequency of them in my life… but because this window is the most relevant at the moment. It provides a glimpse of why I am still sitting in a coffee shop in Ibiza instead of sitting at home in my apartment in Washington, D.C.
“Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next”- Fredruck Buechner as quoted in Windows to the Soul by Ken Gire (191).
My departure was scheduled for July 23rd, 11:25 p.m. In the week leading up to my flight, I kept discovering droplets of water falling from my face. Tears- a little uncommon, a little unexpected.
Flashback: leaving Ibiza last year. As my plane ascended, the water droplets started pouring from my eyes. Several hours of dripping facets under the eyelids. No real distress or sadness, just a feeling that I needed to return. And, so I did.
Several days ago, I sat on my balcony. Staring at the clouds, speaking to God through flows of spoken word and prayer, marveling at the tears falling down my cheek. It didn’t want to think about leaving this place; it seemed like my pending departure was too soon and the unexpected tears- a week early, and a few too many- agreed with my sentiments. “Lord, why am I crying? I have a week left- that’s a lot of time. Why am I crying already?? “
As I watched the cloud pass quickly overhead, I heard a voice in my head say this “like that cloud you will pass through quickly, but your presence still has an impact while you here and eventually you will return and pass through again.” Fair enough, but why am I crying? What does that even mean?
Searching for answers, I looked toward the sky. The cloud seemed to slow. It lingered. And, suddenly I realized that my tears were indicative of a longing for a little more time, I wanted to linger here a little longer too. But, was God leading me to stay a little longer? Were the tears and the imagery and the prayers really from Him? Or was it just wishful thinking? I asked God to have someone invite me to stay if He wanted me to stay.
The next day, I was invited to stay longer if I wanted to do so. My flights were able to be changed, the space for me here was confirmed, and God clearly made a way for me to linger here for just a little longer: three weeks longer. Because I paid attention to my tears and asked for God to reveal their meaning, I have a little more time and a lot more joy and excitement in knowing that God has purpose for the next three weeks.
Those tears were not the only ones I have shed since being here. I have cried for lives that seem engulfed by hopelessness, for the abuse of alcohol and drugs, for the vulnerable who have been deserted by their friends, for the loss of innocence, for those imprisoned by injustice, for the deceptive sting of insecurity, for my brothers and sisters who have yet to find their way home to the Father… I’ve shed many tears for many people here in Ibiza and I find that each one is an indication of something deeper.
“So much is distilled in our tears, not the least of which is wisdom in living life. From my own tears I have learned that if you follow your tears, you will find your heart. If you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God. And if you find what is dear to God, you will find the answer to how you should live your life“- Windows to the Soul, Ken Gire- 195.