a blog written by Jordan Berta
Have you ever cried and been told that crying is a sign of weakness? We live in a culture that praises people’s highlight reals and avoids their pain. When was the last time you saw someone post a picture on facebook of them crying? This phenomenon is not because tears are not flowing but rather because people don’t like to share them.
Almost two years ago my grandmother—mentor and friend—passed away and I was tasked with leading her memorial service. That day I had two goals: lead a service that honoured her and don’t cry. I feared that crying would distract me from fulfilling my role for that day. This didn’t last long though. In the lobby greeting people before the service I saw someone in the corner of my eye. It was my close friend’s co-worker that I had only met once or twice before. When he walked up to me the tears came on like a waterfall. Why would someone I barely know travel over an hour to attend the memorial for someone he had never met? I realized in this moment that this was an act of compassion that overwhelmed me. Crying in this moment was not a sign of weakness but rather a grateful response to his kind gesture.
While it is true that crying may not appropriate in all circumstances, it is a legitimate and healthy response in many situations. How do I know this? Well, the shortest verse of the Bible clearly tell us that Jesus wept. John chapter 11 tells the story about how Jesus was informed of the death of Lazarus, a close friend. After arriving to the place Lazarus was buried and greeting his sisters, Jesus weeps. Not just cries, weeps. The spectators that day likely wondered why, if Jesus was sad, He didn’t do anything about it before Lazarus died. But this was not the end of the story. Right after this moment of weeping He performs the miracle of bringing Lazarus back to life.
Jesus did not weep because of powerlessness, He wept out of compassion. The same compassion that led Him to raise Lazarus from the dead.
There is a lot of pain in the world and it is easy to wonder how Jesus responds. I believe that He weeps with us (John 11:35) and works to restore us (Romans 8:28).