Who in this world has never cried? No one. We all have. And we’ve seen others cry, infants, young people and even the very old. Sometimes it’s just the blurring of eyes, the over-rush of tears and at other times it is a gush that comes with sighs that grow into sobs.
We’ve all cried many times, but we also stop crying at some point, don’t we? Whatever it is that upset us so much that we couldn’t help but cry, ceases to upset us that much and then we stop crying. Sometimes we think of something else, totally unrelated to whatever made us unhappy. Sometimes we just fall asleep and when we get up the world looks totally different. We may still be sad but not to the point of tears.
There’s an old song about a father. You may have heard it. ‘Oh my Papa’ is what it is called. The original was German, ‘O mein Papa’. It is all about a young woman who remembers her beloved father who was a clown. It was written, we are told, by the Swiss composer Paul Burchard in 1939 for the musical Der Schwarze Heckt (The Black Pike).
There are many versions of the song but most of them have the following lines:
“Gone are the days when he would take me on his knees
and with a smile, he’d change my tears to laughter.’
Parents know how to cheer their children. They know how to wipe away the tears. But it’s not just parents who have to wipe tears and it’s not only children who cry and finally not all sorrows break out from eyes like reservoirs that cannot hold the rain. There’s sorrow all around us and often we don’t really know how best to deal with it. Sometimes tears help the mind and heart release something that is unbearable. And sometimes someone is there at hand who can with a word or glance or gesture or sheer presence stop the river — like the Papa in the son
g who could change his little girl’s tears to laughter.
There are terrible days. Black days with black events filled with black words that convince us that we will be tormented by endless darkness. It’s so dark that we cry, the darkness offering adequate cover for the tears. Sometimes we cry even in broad daylight. And then, there streams into our hearts and minds a single ray of sunshine which arrives as a word or a pat on the back or a simple reaching out of hand to touch the cheek. When that ray of light touches the tears on your eyelash, something happens. A tiny rainbow is born.
There’s only a simple question we need to ask ourselves: do you want to be a rainbow maker?