December 20, 2021

John 11:35 Jesus wept. (King James Version)
It is the answer to the trivia question “What is the shortest verse in the Bible?” But it can be so much more. I’d like to think we do better with acknowledging pain in our culture these days but I’m not sure we do. By and large I still think we are not comfortable with displays of grief and would much rather keep a “stiff upper lip” even if we aren’t British. But at least on this occasion, and very publicly, Jesus cried. I believe in the resurrection of the dead. I’ve found comfort in this reality. But I understand why Jesus cried and I’m glad he did. Having proper doctrine isn’t all there is to being human. Tears can be their own affirmation of faith. They confess our vulnerability, our need for God and each other. We can hold hope and hurt at the same time, for ourselves and those around us. Being human can be full of contradictions and confusion. Jesus embodied this and Jesus walks with us in this. There is no correct procedure for how to grieve, but I find the older I get the more often I cry. I’m glad Jesus cried too. Maybe he cries with us. Maybe he cries for us. Even though things will be alright and we can trust our loved ones to God’s care, Jesus wept. May you find comfort in his tears.

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