Tears: A Language Only God Understands

Loving the Cubs... and other problems I have Mark Grissom beaverdamusa.comCharles Dickens once wrote, “We never need be ashamed of our tears.”

When I was a young boy, I am guessing I was about 8 or 9 years old, I watched a movie on television titled “Boys Town”. The two main actors were Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy. It was a story about a teenage boy who stayed in lots of trouble. He was finally sent by the court system to a Catholic juvenile home. There were many other boys in that home that had trouble as well. But none of them were quite as bad as the character that Rooney played.

During the movie, there was a small boy who had become good friends with Rooney. At the end of the movie, that same young boy was killed in a car accident. Rooney was devastated. He cried and cried and never quite got over the fact he had lost his best friend.

I can remember crying while I was watching that part of the movie. This was the first time in my life that I can remember I cried over something that touched me so much.

Oh sure, I cried when I got a spanking from my mom or dad, but this was a completely different kind of crying time for me.

I can remember that, because I am not a crier.  Or should I say… I did not use to be a crier.

I find myself, the older I get, crying more often than ever before. I cry in church during the Christmas Eve Candlelight service when we sing silent night and I get to thinking about my mom, and the thought of never having another Christmas with her again.

I cried for months after the death of my mom anytime I would think about her. I cry every time I go up to Sunset Memorial Gardens and visit her grave. I know she is not there, but it is a place for me to go and think of all the incredible memories I had with her.

I cried on October 20, 2010 when I sat in my dad’s house and shared with him for four hours about how my marriage had failed and it looked like I was getting a divorce. I needed the strength, encouragement, love and guidance of my dad that evening more than ever before in my life. He was there for me and I will never, ever forget him for that.

There have been times in church when the choir at First United Methodist will be singing a beautiful hymn of worship, and I start crying thinking about how Christ shed his blood on a cross for me so that I may have life everlasting. That has happened more than once.

By Hone Morihana (Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson (cropped)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsOne of my favorite players on the PGA Tour is Bubba Watson. I like him very much. He is a great husband, father and a good Christian man. I know this, because I read news articles about him, watch documentaries on television about him and follow him on Twitter. He is constantly showing pictures of his wife and little two-year-old son on his Twitter account. He is an incredible guy.

On Sunday, at the Masters, Bubba Watson won his second PGA Tour Championship. The last one was two years ago. Same location, Augusta, Georgia…at the Masters. Only this time was different. His wife and son were there at the 18th green when he made his final putt to win the tournament.

Bubba was full of emotion. He hugged his caddie, his opponent Jordan Spieth and Jordan’s caddie. He then looked over at his wife and son. The camera was in a perfect angle to catch the video of his two-year-old son walking across the 18th green at the Masters and jumping up in his father’s arms.

Bubba was crying…  and so was I.

I am not ashamed to say that I was sitting in my recliner in my living room and tears were running down my face. I could not have been more proud to see Bubba reach down and pick up his little boy and squeeze him tight… and be crying the entire time. Bubba Watson showed me that day that it is okay to cry and not be ashamed!

In 1987 I was standing next to my dad, in Red Bay, Alabama, at the casket of his father and my grandfather, Ira Grissom.  “Popsie”, as I called him for 23 years, was one of the greatest men on the face of God’s green earth. (I could write an entire blog about my grandfather, and I think I will…one day.)

My dad was crying. My dad was saying his last goodbye to the man that raised him, put food on his table, clothes on his back and gave him an incredible Christian home to live in. The next thing that took place will forever be embedded in my mind and in my heart. My dad put his arm around me and said, “Mark, I hope I can be the dad to you that he was to me.”

Well, Dad… you have been!!! I love you so very much.

My dad was crying…and I was crying right along with him. Crying is not a bad thing at all. Tears are a language that only God understands.

And it’s a good thing He does…. because I am crying right now.

Until next time.


About Mark Grissom

Mark was born on the north side of Chicago in 1964. Raised a Cubs fan by his dad, he never had a chance in life. He moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1988. While he lives closer to Atlanta now, he will never be able to leave the religion of "Cubbie Nation." Baptized as a Cubs fan at the age of five, he has no choice but to live the remainder of his life here on earth in mediocrity at its best!

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