“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
Life can leave us feeling dry. As one of deep emotions I have felt distressed lately and yet seemingly too exhausted for tears. It is the feeling of being crushed under a heavy weight unable to move it.
Sunday morning a brother shared his own struggle coping with all the broken lives around him. He spoke of children who appear to be given no chance in life and are neglected. I thought of the countless masses of humanity, the millions hurting, the millions helpless and those still looking for a day of salvation, where will they find God’s love?
I came home to my beautiful family. I shared dinner with my parents and sister. I was sad, struggling and thinking over the lyrics of a hymn sung at the end of the service. The final stanza on my mind:
“Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master, though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves; When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.”
After the meal mom and I discussed her mother’s mental health since undergoing multiple chemotherapy treatments. Her mom was always a strong and sharp woman, but now is having difficulty with simple routine tasks.
Alzheimer’s took my great-grandma. It is an undignifying end for a loved one who was once independent and strong. I pondered the loss of my grandma that way, then I thought about my own mother who I love so deeply, who is always there for me, and wondered if I would see her thinking and abilities fade too.
Was this the fate that would befall me as well?
I only wanted one thing in that moment and that was to hold onto mom never letting go. I gave mom a hug then the floodgates opened. I wept for my weakness, I wept for mom’s mortality, I wept for grandpa’s fears and grandma’s confusion, I wept for all those in this sick and dying world.
Faith is not impervious to emotion. Our sorrow is as much of an expression of faith as our joy. Men of faith weep because they love deeply and share the pain of those hurting. Tears soften the hard ground of cruelty and judgment of this world.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
Tears are the waters of spiritual healing. Tears lift and carry away burdens too heavy for our own strength to bear. May we fulfill the law of Christ and share our tears of joy, sorrow and love. May our love be poured out to all people.