Tears January 14, 2024



Lately, I have found myself tearing up more. Sometimes, my lips turn upside down when they tear. I heard that is a sign of full-on crying. Well, maybe so.

I started back to work after not working since 2019, having retired. I was a high school teacher and before that career I had another one in law enforcement. Going back into the classroom, on purpose, was thought to be smooth. I figured there were a few things that might have changed since I left before the year Covid got its name.

Boy, was I in for an awakening.

     …drinking out of a firehose.

It was like trying to drink out of the proverbial fire hose. Lots to do, lots to plan for lots of technology and oh, and the tech side was on the fritz. I lost 16 pounds between the end of July and the middle of September, so that was good.

But over the term, then the semester, I got my feet under me and I found my stride. But that entire time, on my way to work with Pandora playing my favorite quiet, soothing music, and a good cup of coffee like I have right now, I had these amazing conversations with God. I gave Him he day. I told him I wanted to do certain things, but if His Plan meant a different course, then that’s the one I really wanted.

     I let….

And I teared up. I let the tears run down my cheeks. I’m too old to care what people think.

There was an odd moment. I didn’t know if I was sad or joyful. The conversations were so good, I never felt that way before, including when my wife was dying of cancer. I prayed for people I didn’t want to pray for because He wanted me to pray for them. I prayed for my family—my kids and grandkids. We talked about the weather. Sometimes, we just listened to the music and neither of us said anything.

But the puzzle of was it joy or sadness, lived in my mind. I didn’t think I was sad. Maybe I could have been, but it always came when I had the focus of the morning. When God and I were in my truck, driving to work. I would stop and think how I felt when the tears started. Was I sad or was this something else.

     He allows it….

Then, I thought of this—my Dad—Abba, can’t make sadness. He allows it, sure, but it doesn’t originate from Him. He is the opposite of all of that. He is pure love. I came up on that one morning in the middle of the conversation. I told Him I didn’t know whether this was sadness from the job and other things or was I just joyful of this time with Him. The answer was what I wrote. He can’t make it. But He can make me joyful in my sadness.

That was it. I was joyful for these moments in the middle of a hard time, in the middle of struggle and pain and loneliness. He was the one who, in the middle of the dumpster fire, provided tears I have never felt and a core feeling I never want to go away.

     Find a place….

Find a place where you are comfortable, soothed maybe with music, light a candle or a quiet chair on the patio. Then, well, it will happen.


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About Mark Williams
Mark Williams spent the first twenty-one years of his career as a Special Agent for the Organized Crime Division of the State Attorney General’s Office. As part of his duties, he investigated organized crime, homicides, and fraud cases submitted by other agencies to that office. He has traveled across the United States as an instructor for law enforcement in various capacities. After he retired, he became a high school English teacher at an inner-city school in central Phoenix where he is the fourth generation in his family to live in the valley. Mark was married for almost thirty-eight years and is a retired widower. He has three children and ten grandchildren. You can read more about the author here.

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