The day after my family’s farm was auctioned, my mother, sister and little brother left for our new home in the city. I chose to stay with my father as he completed the last few chores at our farm home of 14 years.

All the animals, machinery and household belongings were gone. My father and uncle stood in the middle of the abandoned farmyard while I spent a few final moments with my dog, Tippy.

Finally my uncle announced, “It’s time for me to get going.”

I led Tippy to my uncle’s truck, bent down and gave him a final, long hug. Uncle Walter lifted Tippy into his truck, got in and headed off to his farm and Tippy’s new home. As I watched them drive away, a flood of tears accompanied my sobs and seemed to take my breath away.

When I was able to gain sufficient composure to look around, I saw my father taking one last turn around the farm. He walked through the house, the garage, the barns and the machine shed and finally stopped at the car door. He took one last look before he got in. As he settled into his seat, tears ran down his face. Those tears expressed to me the depth of my father’s sadness.

When someone is crying, we feel compelled to stop the tears. The tears, though, are merely evidence of the pain inside. Crying is a healthy expression and release of the pain, the sadness or the hurt. Jesus wept before the tomb of Lazarus, the man He would soon raise from the dead. When words are inadequate, tears best tell the story.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

August 17, 2006