The Joy Paradox

“What is it about tears that should be so terrifying? I asked them again and again, and each time got the impression that tears to them were a sign of softness, of weakness and childishness in a harsh world where only the tough survive.

Yet I knew …how important a role tears play in the making a man whole. I think I could almost put it down as a rule that the touch of God is marked by tears. When finally we let the Holy Spirit into our innermost sanctuary, the reaction is to cry. I have seen it happen again and again. Deep soul-shaking tears, weeping rather than crying. It comes when the last barrier is down and you surrender yourself to health and wholeness.

And when it does come, it ushers forth such a new personality that, from the days of Christ on, the experience has been spoken of as a birth. “You must be born again,’ says Jesus. And the Paradox is that at the heart of this newborn personality is joy; yet the joy is ushered in by tears.”

-David Wilkerson, “The Cross and the Switchblade”

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