Sometimes you just need to know you aren’t alone. Sometimes you need reminding that weeping is cleansing and good and painful and hard, regardless of the reason why you’re weeping.
Jesus Wept. John 11:35
When I read those two words from John 11 above, I honestly didn’t care why he was weeping. I just needing reminding that Jesus wept and in the midst of it, I realized the healing power of this very short verse. Jesus wept because he knew what it meant to be broken. Just like us. He wept because He knew it isn’t easy being human. Just like us. He wept because life is hard and He, Himself, experienced the fact that earthly life deals us blows we aren’t expecting and aren’t even able to deflect. Just like us. So He wept. And therefore, it makes perfect sense to me that we do too.
We each weep because of a catalyst – an event. Maybe because of a diagnosis. Maybe because the bottom falls out. Maybe because we can’t cope with the way it is for one second longer. Maybe because it shatters our heart to see someone we love in shambles. But honestly, regardless of the reason, we weep because we have been rocked at our very core. We weep because we cannot have imagined “this” was coming. We weep because we didn’t want it to be this way. And we weep because we know change is coming. But maybe change is just what we need to heal.
The beautiful flipside to the sadness is that we also weep when we are happy! Can you even imagine all the times Jesus must have felt blessed tears on His holy cheeks when He looked around and thought, “My heart could burst with joy in this moment!”? Even with all the heartache, there were most certainly tears of happiness shared around the table, too! Just like us.
Weeping lets us be real, and being real is a grounding and simple and holy experience. It puts us on an honest and transparent footing with others and, most importantly, with God. Being real is a lifelong process that prepares us to intimately share ourselves with Him face-to-face. To be real means to really know love.
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
So today, go ahead, be real. Do the “ugly cry” if you need to – regardless the reason. Because remember, sweet friend, you are infinitely loved and understood.
Practical Application: (simipl.if.I’ed steps you can take to get REAL today!)
- Find/print our scripture card for this week: Be Real (John 11:35). Put it somewhere you can see it and read it to yourself over the course of this week!
- Read the verse in context of what was happening in the life of Jesus when this was recorded. Realize that Jesus experienced everything we do as humans. What a gift we have in watching how he did things.
- If there’s something going on in your life right now that is moving you to tears, let yourself be real enough to weep. Write a letter to yourself giving yourself permission to be mad/sad/happy/elated/frustrated. When you’ve written it, read it to God as a prayer. Tuck it into your Bible or a safe place to come back to once the emotion has faded and the situation has either resolved or lessened in intensity. It serves as a reminder that God brings us through to the other side of all things WITH Him.
- Check out this audio/video version of Francesca Battistelli’s “Holy Spirit”!
If you are reading before amen, by Max Lucado, this week you can read Chapter 5: “Heal Me”. And, if you are so inclined, complete the Chapter 5 study guide at the back of the book!
Thanks for joining us in this series! We are growing together in Christ – it’s such an awesome thing!
Peace, love, and Joy!
Up Next Week: Simpl.if.I week 7: Let Go!