By Randy Maxwell, Washington Conference vice president for administration

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

This classic philosophical question still makes us think about the meaning of events, not just the events themselves. Trees literally fall in forests all the time. One fell about 100 yards from our home in Washington during an intense rainstorm, crushing a car driving past and killing the driver—the mother of an infant son who was strapped into his rear car seat and mercifully survived. That tree fell in a forest and not only made a sound; it unleashed a river of tears and changed the world for all connected with that mother, including her now motherless child.

In that case, the result gave the incident meaning.

Consider another question. If a tear from your eye falls down your cheek and no one is around to see it, does it matter? Psalm 56:8-9 proves that this question is an oxymoron.

You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.

You are never alone. Not only can you not shed tears that go unnoticed, you also cannot shed tears that aren’t collected!

Most parents collect the artwork of their kids and display them on their refrigerators. What kind of Parent collects the tears of his kids and displays them in the heavenly tear cellar? The kind who says of you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jer. 31:3) and “You are mine.” (Isa. 43:1)

Your tears are silent prayers to a God who is always with you whether any other human soul is around or not.

Not one goes unnoticed or uncared for. Cry out to Him now. The enemies of your own tortured thoughts and doubts will turn back. How do you know this is true? Because your God is for you. He sees each tear that falls, and He hears you when you call.1


1.Tommy Walker, He Knows My Name,