Easter in Sri Lanka

For a while, I’ve been meditating on laughter, and its amazing ability to heal us. One Bible proverb calls laughter ‘medicine’. Two translations read like this: Being cheerful keeps you healthy; and A cheerful disposition is good for your health. Each adds a corollary: it is slow death to be gloomy all the time. And the other says: doom and gloom leave you bone-tired. 

I occasionally say to my husband, ‘I feel like a good laugh’. That’s when I go for a humorous book! There are clear medical reasons why laughter is an antidote for negativity. The ‘experts’ have proved what we already knew!  

Lately, I’ve begun to wonder, can our tears also improve our health? I cry easily, and as I’ve grown older, I do it more! I must need them for my health!   

There are several kinds of tears. Basal tears keep our eyes moist and in good condition. They contain important ingredients – maybe you’d like to find out more for yourself. 

Then there are reflex tears. They’re similar, but produced as a reaction to irritants that could damage our eyes, such as foreign objects or exhaust fumes. 

Emotional tears are different. Dr Carrie Lane of the University of Texas, says these have ingredients ‘that are produced during stress-induced danger or arousal’. Some researchers have found that emotional tears ‘have special health benefits’.  

In Psychology Today, Australia, I read about the biochemist Dr. William Frey, of the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis. He’s discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears contain stress hormones too, which are excreted from the body through crying.

Dr. Frey found that emotional tears shed these hormones, as well as other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies suggest that ‘crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain- killer, and “feel-good” hormones’. There’s a similar article in Aging Today which also quotes him. 

Laughter spreads joy, and when we’re happy, we create peace and happiness in our environment. Have you ever thought that these emotions go around the world and touch the lives of people whom we’ve never met? In the same way, our tears, which de-stress us when we learn of tragic events, can be used by God to relieve the people who are being blown away by disasters in far-off places.  

This past weekend I was moved to tears as I heard about the tragic events at Easter church services, and other places in Sri Lanka. I believe my tears of compassion can motivate me to do something about such a terrible situation that’s engulfed so many innocent people as they worshipped. We have Sri Lankan families in our church, and I knew they’d be frantic for news of their families at home, and wondering if they were safe.

So the first thing I did was pray for them. Not just for the ones I know, but strangers, who may not really know God’s love. He can go where I can’t. He can miraculously comfort them and provide what they need by using others there. Like our laughter heals, our tears can take away our fear and help us to think clearly. Let’s all listen to God’s voice so we’re able to spread peace and love in our world.   

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10 Responses to Easter in Sri Lanka

  1. Adele Palmer says:

    Thanks, Lyn. You set me thinking (as usual).

    In my present Bible (The Voice) Prov. 17:22 is offered this way:
    ‘A joy-filled heart is curative balm, but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone.’

    The latter part sounds remarkably like arthritis to me–ouch! As for the tears, I have glaucoma (and much of our family with me). I’m thinking that may involve either or both of basal and reflex tears. Glaucoma does damage through high pressures in the eyes damaging the optic nerve. Add to which, ironically, the meds used to treat it (eye drops) tend to dry the eyes, and dry eyes cause all kinds of destruction, so artificial tears are applied.

    I’m not much of a cryer, but like you I’m doing more of it as the years advance. I well believe it’s therapeutic, and that God gives tears for our relief. As for laughter; I’m all for that! I know it can be healing.

    In The Voice, Isa. 53, we’re reminded that ‘it was our suffering he [Jesus] carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.’ Thank God for the healing of tears and laughter, and of praying for each other.

    Love, Adele

  2. Adele Palmer says:

    Thanks, Lyn. You set me thinking (as usual).

    In my present Bible (The Voice) Prov. 17:22 is offered this way:
    ‘A joy-filled heart is curative balm, but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone.’

    The latter part sounds remarkably like arthritis to me–ouch! As for the tears, I have glaucoma (and much of our family with me). I’m thinking that may involve either or both of basal and reflex tears. Glaucoma does damage through high pressures in the eyes damaging the optic nerve. Add to which, ironically, the meds used to treat it (eye drops) tend to dry the eyes, and dry eyes cause all kinds of destruction, so artificial tears are applied.

    I’m not much of a cryer, but like you I’m doing more of it as the years advance. I well believe it’s therapeutic, and that God gives tears for our relief. As for laughter; I’m all for that! I know it can be healing.

    In The Voice, Isa. 53, we’re reminded that ‘it was our suffering he [Jesus] carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.’ Thank God for the healing of tears and laughter, and of praying for each other.

    Love, Adele

  3. Margaret Aeschlimann says:

    Thank you to both Lyn and Adele, for an informative and encouraging discussion about tears and laughter. I’m forever grateful to God for giving me such a happy disposition, and hope I involve others in my Joy. Another scripture to add is “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” When I’m starting to feel tired a lot, I go to the Lord to get my joy back. He never fails

  4. Lyn Thiele says:

    Thanks for sharing, Adele. I guess you may often need to let the tears flow and it’s great to know they are a blessing from God. Some people are afraid of being seen crying, but, as one person said, more people (including men), are admired these days for letting them go.

    Love, Lyn

  5. Lyn Thiele says:

    Thanks for sharing, Adele. I guess you may often need to let the tears flow and it’s great to know they are a blessing from God. Some people are afraid of being seen crying, but, as one person said, more people (including men), are admired these days for letting them go.

    Love, Lyn

  6. Ruth says:

    I love this! As you know I have the some thing with crying more as I get older…wonder where I get that? haha.

    That is interesting about crying being theraputic. I find if you have a good cry you feel supprisingly peaceful afterwards and can move on or forward.

    • Lyn Thiele says:

      Yes, Ruth,
      Glad you liked the post. Yes, I do know where you got that! At least you can be thankful for it now! I am too.

  7. Ruth says:

    I love this! As you know I have the some thing with crying more as I get older…wonder where I get that? haha.

    That is interesting about crying being theraputic. I find if you have a good cry you feel supprisingly peaceful afterwards and can move on or forward.

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