Not enough words.

I have read that Eskimos have numerous different words in their native tongue to represent snow in all of its forms. I find that brilliant. I confess I am a word nerd. I have often joked that I should be a neologist {maker of words} because reading the dictionary might be one of my favorite things and I often feel constricted by the English language.  For example, the word love… we can love, say, our children, our spouses, coconut cupcakes and perfectly fitting jeans. LOVE.  But there is a clear disparity between my love for my amazingly witty and thoughtful husband and my love for my Madewell cropped denim.

And today this got me thinking about tears. I have observed many tears shed in my not so long life…  I trust that like love and snowflakes, there are all kinds of tears. And those tears I am sure carry a language all their own. A language expressed when words are not enough.

This week, many sorts of tears have swept these cheeks.

On Monday, empty tears. Vast hollows encased by a thin wet film of ache from the loss of a life anticipated.

On Tuesday, full, heavy tears. For into the hollow space had rushed stories and gifts and empathy and so many words. A connectedness with family and friends and strangers alike brought heavy sorrow from the reality of so much loss out there and yet deep gratitude to know that I don’t have to carry any of that burden alone. I have a good Father who invites me to trade these heavy burdens for ones much lighter and that this truth is worked out in community… the very same community that shared their sorrow somehow lifted mine.

Those tears carried into Wednesday somehow flushing out grief and ushering in healing. It felt so fast to have my heart and soul mending as my body was still bleeding. But it was as if this community of sojourners carried me and stitched me up and coaxed me quickly from darkness to the light of day.

Friday, tears erupted from belly laughter over silly {perhaps edging on inappropriate} conversation and YouTube sharing with the most treasured of friends who one minute can discuss the deepest things of the heart and the next minute be in the throes of acting 12.

Saturday, I cried tears of joy, as we celebrated an epic wedding with cherished friends. As I watched 2 younger brothers of the groom honoring and toasting their big brother, out tumbled tears of anticipation, of hope, of thankfulness. I glimpsed the day when my own three sons will be together at each others’ weddings, by then independent, witty, soulful friends… toasting and roasting and sending each other into adventures with those who will become the wives and daughters I already pray for.

And Sunday, driving down the coast of California alongside my best friend for life, I cried the sweetest of tears – the slow sort that seem to flow straight out of a heart that is so swollen with love and gratitude and undeservedness it might burst – as Marshall reached across for my hand and said softly, “this is my song for you, Emsy” and played this for me. I laughed through free falling tears and my heart overflowed with thanks for this man I am so in like with and would do life with a million times over.

And in the final moments of the most perfectly placed weekend replete with weddings and sunsets, beignets and breakfast bowls, the richest of friendships and the sweetest of silences,  there came the tears that come for no reason at all. I think I will call them surplus tears. Those extra ones representing words not yet formed, mingling emotions that have no name, perhaps driven by a little something called hormones, perhaps driven by something more mysterious.   They fell with no particular explanation but somehow explained things perfectly.

For as much as I am a lover of words, they sometimes are not enough.

2 thoughts on “Not enough words.

  1. Wow, Emily, this one blew me away! Your use of language and ability to communicate how much God showed care for you last week is truly uncanny. Tears in my eyes for your beautiful heart and prose!


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