Grieving With Jesus Stage #5: Sadness

The Weeping Stage

Jesus Wept
John 11:35

  • Image result for Crying Face

In our culture, it seems tears are a sign of weakness.  I remember, as I was growing up, that I was told explicitly or implicitly, “Boy Don’t Cry!” Or I was told, by friend and foe alike, “Only sissies cry!” To some extent, even the girls didn’t catch a break. We even had a popular song entitled “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” More abusive types might even threaten their children with, “If you cry, I will give you a reason to cry!” As a counselor, I cannot tell you how many times I listened to folks who had experienced tremendous loss; therefore, justifiably, they were crying, and as soon as they composed themselves they would apologize profusely saying, “I am so sorry to be going on like this blubbering like a baby.” Healing tears definitely get a bad reputation. If we believe the junk our culture teaches about tears, we are setting ourselves up for complicated grief beyond anything we could imagine.

A Tomb Entrance Flooded With Holy Tears

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Tears are important in helping us get back the balance of life we lost when we experienced our loss.  It really is important for Christ-Followers to know that Jesus set the example for demonstrating what I call holy sadness: After being four days late for one of his best friend’s funeral, Jesus stood by friend Lazarus’ tomb, and the Apostle John declares the shortest verse in the bible: “Jesus Wept.” The Septuagint version of this greek word, which is  ‘dackryo,’  can also be translated “to pour out, to gush forth, to bring to the melting point.” In other words, these two english words “Jesus Wept” don’t give the translation it’s due. Jesus really poured out tears. His tears gushed forth from him.  He almost was demonstrating a melt down of tears. He really did cry deeply.  And this is just as healthy/holy for children of God like you and me. 

God And The Tear Bottles

God holds a different view of tears, He does so, not only because of Jesus’ example, but because he describes them as being something precious that He will keep for us, as He witnesses our tears of grief:

Psalm 56:8
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.”

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Indeed, your loving parent views your suffering tears from heaven in a precious way. He lovingly keeps track of them. He empathically tracks all your sorrows.  He collects those tears in a bottle He has made just for you. And He has recorded each one of them, in “your book.” It does not seem that we are helping ourselves one bit if we don’t cry when needed. As a matter of fact, it is far more spiritually sound to cry. Boys do cry. Big girls do cry. Men and Women cry, and Jesus Wept; so, give yourself permission to use the one part of your body that men and women have in common: Let your tear ducts flow freely before your God. Don’t grieve alone. Grieve with Jesus and experience Good Grief.

God Bless You,

Chaplain Mac

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