Our hot water heaters have overflow valves.

I strongly suspect many things which relate to plumbing and water have overflow valves.  Exactly what does an overflow valve do?

An overflow valve is a valve with proportional control characteristics for pressure maintenance, pressure control and for protecting pumps or plant systems against excessive pressures.

This statement is in plumbing language.  My layman's interpretation is this keeps the sucker from leaking water all over the place or worse blowing up and emptying 50 gallons of water into your house.  THAT is NOT a good thing, in case you have never experienced that joy!

Where in the world could I be going?  The topic I chose for today was tears.  As I began to think about our tears, this overflow valve popped into my head.  Our tears come from our overflow valve being triggered by excessive sadness, grief, heartache, pain, and sometimes great joy.  When our emotions reach a point that they need releasing, tears are God's mechanism to help us cope.  What a beautiful gift.

As I have aged, my tears overflow more and more easily.  For so many years, I thought I needed to keep it all together.  I learned at my mother's knee you do not cry in public.  Damming those tears up was a self defense mechanism to keep from completely losing it.  I sucked it up and kept on going--refusing to allow the overflow valve to do its work.  The dam finally burst and now the overflow valve is in overdrive.  Not only do I cry over my own grief, but I also find myself crying with you when you are suffering.  God has broken through the hard shell I placed around my heart to avoid pain and given me a heart acutely aware of all who are in pain and suffering.  The rest of my body may be slowly declining, but my tear factory is operating better than ever.

I take great comfort in knowing God sees every tear and understands why they fall.  He is my comforter.  He has promised to hold our tears in a bottle until the day when there will be no more tears.  What a wonderful promise.  The day will come when there will be no more pain, no more suffering, and no reason for tears.  Thanking God until then, He has given me the capacity to let the tears flow in acknowledgement of the pain and suffering I see in this broken world.  What a beautiful gift each and every tear is---an overflow of compassion for those He places in my path.

"You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book."
Psalms 56:8


  1. I've always struggled to hold back tears, Lulu, at least in public. Crying is something I have done, and will continue to do, often. It is so healing - kind of on the flip side of laughter. Gotta let the emotional pressure out!
    Have a great weekend!

  2. You are absolutely right, Martha!


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!