My name is Danny Merrell and I’m a crier.

I'm just an emotional guy. I cry in many instances, but movies and videos are my downfall.

Those video compilations showing military moms and dads surprising their families when coming home on leave…get me a whole roll of toilet paper on those.

Those engagement proposals involving flash mobs performing some sort of dance or song…yup, get ready for the red eyes.

And, the list of movies that just cause the tears to come uncontrolled...

Field of Dreams – when Kevin Costner gets to have one more game of catch with his come-back-to-life dad, you would think I stuffed habaneros in my nose.

Toy Story -  Yes, Toy Story.  When Andy gets older and gives the toys away.  Yes, I know it’s basically a cartoon, but Woody reminds me of some of my childhood toys, which are still in my attic, by the way.

Forrest Gump – Whenever I want to lose about 2 pounds in water weight, all I need to do is to watch the scene where Forrest is talking to Jenny at her grave.

Students standing on their desks in Dead Poets Society, the surprise retirement concert in Mr. Holland’s Opus, M’Lynn baring her soul at her daughter’s funeral in Steel Magnolias – cry, cry, and double cry.

The Notebook, Somewhere in Time, Ghost, Love Story, The Blind Side, Remember the Titans...heck, the list of movies that don’t make me cry is probably shorter.

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It’s not just movies, I cried when my son hit his first and only over the fence home run in a game.  I cried and still cry today because I was running late that day…and missed seeing it.  Every Easter season, when my church reads through The Passion of Jesus, I cry when we get to the line 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he breathed his last.'

Because I wear my heart on my sleeve, I’ve become quite the expert at identifying the different emotions that cause me to cry.  Sadness, joy, melancholy, despair, anger, you name the emotion, chances are I have shed tears because of it. Which leads me to a certain type of emotional cry that has never happened to me, until recently.  It’s the type of outpouring of emotion that I pray you experience.

Have you seen the series called ‘The Chosen’? is the first-ever multi-season series based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ. Our family loves it.  Season two is filming now and we can’t wait for it be released.

One of the episodes of the first season recounts the story of Jesus telling Simon Peter, after a night of fruitless fishing, to cast his nets out once again, only this time the catch was miraculous.  Simon Peter immediately drops to his knees at the feet of Jesus.  Watch the scene here.

At that moment when he drops to his knees at the feet of Jesus, I weep.  I place myself inside the mind of Simon Peter at that moment and I weep, but what a beautiful cry.  We all have cried for so many different reasons, but there will never be a better and more joyous shedding of tears than when we see the face of Jesus and realize we are home.

Can you even imagine the outpouring of feelings when you drop to your knees at the feet of your Savior?  Can you imagine the comfort, the peace, the truth, the tears of complete liberation from all your fears and worries, the tears of pure joy? Can you imagine the light of God's love as He embraces you?

The answer is no.  No one can imagine nor understand just how powerful and wonderful God's love is. We can only grasp a small fraction of what that will be like, and even that extremely small amount of understanding is enough to fill our hearts and cause tears to rain down.

That is my Christmas wish for you.  I wish and pray that Jesus comes into your heart like you've never experienced before.  I wish and pray that you strip yourself from all the anxieties, bias, intolerances, pride, and societal standards and listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say, and that you act upon those directives.  I wish and pray that you cry like you are kneeling at the feet of Jesus...as He says 'Rise and follow me'.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season and that you are guided by the love of Christ.

 

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