How Many Tears

The Denver shooting this last week during the midnight showing of the Batman movie has made me think of so many other tragedies in years past: 9/11, Columbine, Oklahoma City Bombing, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires. One minute all is well, or seems so, and in a blink of an eye everything has changed.

There’s a song from the musical Martin Guerre called How Many Tears, and I think of that song now as I stare at the television once again, watch events unfold, experts try to unravel the mysteries of an awful event, names and faces of victims revealed, and I wonder “How Many Tears” do we have to shed? How many times have I sat in front of my television and watched news reports of unspeakable events, evil played out before us, and tears rolled down my face? But they are not the only tragedies that I shed tears over.

Tragedies may be personal, as in a death of a loved one, a lay off, or a spouse saying they no longer want to be married, or tragedies can be on the national or international scale. But no matter the breadth of the event, the depth in our heart is like a meteor crashing through the atmosphere of our inner world and cratering a jagged hole that can never be filled. Tragedies change us. Sometimes tragedies cause laws to be changed or our shoes to be removed before we can board a plane or extra security precautions. I’m sure many can debate better than I whether these changes are for the good or detriment of our society. But another bi-product of change is awareness and compassion. Tragedies cause us to reach out a helping hand to those hurting and in need. Tragedies make us realize once again (as if we didn’t already know this) that no matter how hard we try to control our personal world, we are not in control and life can end very quickly. Every day, every moment, every breath is precious and a gift, and each should be treasured as such.

If you’re feeling lost and alone and overwhelmed by recent events, I encourage you to reach out a hand…to a charity, to a neighbor, to someone standing on the street who needs help. The only way to combat evil is to offer love. What are some of the charities you support? Or can you share a time when someone reached out to you and offered help?

13 thoughts on “How Many Tears

  1. Judy

    I could not believe how many people reached out to me when my husband was dying. This was 9 1/2 years ago. I still get teary eyed thinking about it. Bob was diagnosed with a brain tumor and 4 months later he was gone. I can not believe how many anonmous envelopes full of money that showed up on my desk at work. I cried with thanksgiving in my heart but also those tears were because I wouldn’t be able to thank the people responsible. I even received money in the mail…who sent it? I have no idea. From a previous place of employment in a different state I received over $1000 in donations from prior co-workers. Isn’t that just like God to take care of His people? This isn’t just about the much needed money but about all the support in prayers, cards, and phone calls. All I can say is, what an Awesome God we serve!
    Thanks for letting me share.


    P.S. I am now happily remarried to a wonderful Christian man who simply loves me for who I am!

  2. Leanna Ellis

    Hi, Judy! What an amazing testimony of God’s love and care through such a difficult time. I’m so sorry about the loss of your husband but love hearing how others reached out to you in so many ways. Thank you for sharing just a smidgen of your story. Indeed, God is faithful and loving! If we allow it, God will turn the sorrows into our lives into hopeful stories.

  3. Anonymous

    I am definitely looking forward to your newest books, especially the ebooks. Thanks for continuing to share your special talent with those of us who enjoy reading.
    Dixie Deen

  4. Gina Lee Nelson

    My son also attended a midnight showing of Batman in our home town on that same night. My eyes filled with tears when I heard about the tragedy…there but for the grace of God.

    Do we suffer more because there are more tragedies on the earth or because we are bludgeoned with them via television, radio, internet, and newspapers? I can’t say for sure, but I can say that our Father holds us in the palm of His hand.

    nelsonwriting at yahoo dot com

  5. rbooth43

    I believe tht tragedy happens because we are bludgeoned with them via television, radio, internet, and newspapers. Please go back to non-violent, clean works, and programs that show morals instead of violence! Put compassion for everyone back in life!
    rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

  6. Meljprincess

    A breast cancer survivor reached out to me when I was going through breast cancer. She would talk to me on the phone and tell me everything that was going to happen. This helped me with worry and fear. Everything she told me came true. She was a huge help.
    Charities would be: Susan G. Komen and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

    Mel K.
    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

  7. Anonymous

    Dear Leanna, I just loved what you wrote in this letter from your desk. Absolutely perfect and so true. One of the best pieces I have read on the subject of our life as we deal with and know it for now. I love at the end you say ” the best way to combat evil is with love” You are the best. Love Bonny PS of course enter me to have a chance to win one of your books you are offering. I am a fan. Thanks for considering me!
    Bonny underscore Conway at yahoo dot com

  8. Leanna Ellis

    Hi, Gina! So glad your son is okay. I guess its good and bad that we know so much about what is happening in the world. Good to know how to pray, how to help, and what is happening. But then again, ignorance is bliss. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Leanna Ellis

    Hi, Rebecca! Ah, we are inundated not just with real life horror stories but also with it in fiction. Not sure its possible to ever go back to what seems like simpler times. Wish we could though. Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. Leanna Ellis

    Hi, Mel K! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. My mother is a breast cancer survivor 2X! I hope you are doing well now. To me, that’s the whole point of difficult situations: to be able to learn and grow and then help others going through similar difficult situations. Thanks for sharing your story!


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