Recently, a young pastor died leaving behind his wife and children. At the funeral, his wife sat stoically in her seat trying to be brave for her children and for the members if the congregation. No tears were shed by her, at least not in public.
And I remember thinking how hard and how sad it must be for her. To not be able to let go of all that pain for the sake of others.
In my own family, we’ve recently had a string of family members and friends die in the past few months. As a matter of fact, there are two wakes being held today, one for my great aunt and one for my grandmothers best friend.
I can guarantee you that someone will tell us not to cry because these women have gone on to be with the Lord. Because ”to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord ( 2 Cor 5:8).” That we should be joyful because they are no longer in pain and suffering.
Why is it that in our effort to comfort those in grief we encourage them to stifle their sense of loss? Sometimes as Christians I think that we forget that Jesus was human. That he experienced a full range of human emotions even grief.
In the book of John, we find the story of Jesus and the death of Lazarus. The Bible tells us that when Jesus finally arrived after hearing that Lazarus was sick he was already dead. At this point, Jesus did one thing…He wept (John 11:35).
Jesus Wept. John 11:35
Jesus, the son of God, healer of the sick, raiser of the dead….wept. He was so overcome with grief and sorrow at the loss of his friend that even Jesus with all the power that he had wept.
If he was so overcome by emotion I think that it’s only fitting that we let others weep for the ones they have lost. They shouldn’t be pressured to put on a “brave” face. We shouldn’t feel compelled to tell them that everything is ok.
As Christians, we know that if our loved ones died in Christ that we will see them again on the other side. Just like Jesus knew that he would raise Lazurus from the dead. I’m sure that the disciples were astonished as they watched their beloved teacher break into tears.
But nowhere does it mention that they tried to stop him from weeping. This story reminds me that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to grieve the loss of someone you hold dear.….weeping may endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
We don’t know how long our night will last, but the next time you see someone who is grieving a loss whether it be of a loved one, a marriage, a failed business. Let them know that it’s ok to cry.
Even Jesus wept.
The Crafty Afro