Pastor Nelda’s Notes: Crying

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Psalm 137 is a communal lament about being in exile after the Babylonian captivity, and yearning for Jerusalem, the homeland. We will be talking about this Bible passage on Sunday.? {{more: continue …}}
The early lines of the psalm describe the sadness of the Israelites in exile, weeping and hanging their harps on trees. Asked to “sing the Lord’s song in a strange land”, they refuse.?
  1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, also we wept at our remembrance of Zion.?
  2. On the willows, in the midst thereof, we hung up our lyres.
  3. For there, our captors demanded a song, and our desecrators, mirth: “Sing us from the song of Zion.”
  4. ?How can we sing the song of God on strange land??
As I read this Psalm I began to wonder about weeping, crying and why we cry. Perhaps a dust particle in our eyes can cause us to cry. Tears are released to flush out these irritants in our eyes.
As humans, we shed tears in response to a range of emotions. Crying is a response to a range of emotions, including grief, sadness, joy, frustration, doubt, and fear.
Crying has benefits for us. We may try to suppress tears if we think they are a sign of weakness, but science suggests that doing so could mean missing out on a range of benefits. Researchers have found that crying:
  • Crying has a soothing effect. Self-soothing is when we regulate our own emotions. We calm ourselves and reduce our own stress.?
  • Crying gets support from others. Crying can help people get support from others around them.?
  • Crying helps to relieve pain. Shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. These chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.?
  • Crying enhances our mood. Crying may help lift people’s spirits and make them feel better. As well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel good” chemicals.?
  • Crying releases toxins and relieves stress. When we cry in response to stress, our tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals. Research has found that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress.??
  • Crying aids our sleep. A small study in 2015 found that crying can help babies sleep better. Whether crying has a similar sleep-enhancing effect on adults. However, it follows that the calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects of crying above may help a person fall asleep more easily.
  • Crying fights bacteria. Crying helps to kill bacteria and keep the eyes clean as tears contain a fluid called lysozyme.
  • Crying improves vision. Tears, which are released every time a person blinks, help to keep the eyes moist and prevent mucous membranes from drying out.

Crying is a normal human response to a whole range of emotions that has a number of health and social benefits, including pain relief and self-soothing effects. If crying happens to frequently you may be depressed. It may be a good idea to speak to a doctor.

See you on Sunday!
“I don’t know how, but I know Who!”

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Nelda

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