April 4, 2016

John 20:15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

“He” here is Jesus and the woman is Mary who has come to the tomb on the first Easter morning to embalm Jesus’ body. If you met someone sobbing in a cemetery would you ask them why they were crying? Kind of seems like a dumb question, doesn’t it? To make matters worse, according to John’s account she was asked the same question only a short while before by two angels she encountered inside the tomb. In another story from another gospel Jesus once asked a blind man who was crying out to Jesus as he traveled through a town, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). The obvious answer would be, “the eyes Jesus, I need some help with the eyes here!” But maybe Jesus is trying to get beyond the surface, seemly obvious, answer. One of my favorite poems is “Spring and Fall” by Gerald Manley Hopkins (http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/hopkins/section4.rhtml). It is a short one so check it out. The writer asks a child named Margaret why she is grieving over the falling of the leaves and the coming of winter. In the end he concludes “It is the blight man was born for, it is Margaret you mourn for.” When is the last time you cried? Why were you crying? Whatever the surface loss or pain, is it just possible that those tears gave expression to a deeper need for love and purpose and security, all things that find their foundation in God? Do the hurts of our hearts help us hear God? This week see the sadness surrounding you and ask, “Why are you crying?”


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