Saturday, October 20, 2012


What do you cry about?
Be honest.
Sadness, loneliness, loss, physical pain, emotional hurt?
More often then not, this is the audio to that:  "Me. Me. Me."
Even empathy for someone else transfers from our own remembered pain.
Our tears are almost always all about us.
I do it, too.

We begin at birth with a cry of outrage when life smacks us with cold and discomfort, and we wail at its first assaults.
And they keep coming.
And, when they seem too much, we cry.

Did Jesus cry at birth?
He felt the pain and cold, too, but did He cry?
He wept later, but in very specific circumstances--over the sins of His people, and again at Lazarus' grave.  He wept for the death of people he loved. In no recorded instance did He cry over personal loneliness, insult, betrayal, or desertion.
Not like we do.
Jesus' flesh felt every body blow as deeply as our does, but He did not cry over them.
Why not?

Think about Him at His weakest moment--in the garden, sweating blood in an agony of anticipated suffering.
"Let this cup pass", He begged, but it would not.
He had come to the end of His human resources, but He did not cry.
I cry because I do not master my flesh.
Jesus, Master of all things, did.

He felt every pain, every hurt, as deeply as I do, but He did not give in to them.
Why not?  What was the difference?
He knew Himself.
He knew His Father.
He had already won.
I am supposed to know this, too, and in this knowledge, self-pity has no place.

Can I hold His kind of mastery over myself all the time?  No.
But in this, like in all things, Christ says,
"Follow Me."
"Be holy."
"My yoke is easy."

From the very first ones, all of my tears have been selfish.
Yes, tears sometimes come as a release, too, and I will still shed these, but I have no real reason to cry. Not ever.  Not really.
My Savior lives. He loves and cares for me.
What could I possibly cry about in the face of that?


  1. Hmmmm...I'm thinking about this, Joanne. I do think we often engage in pity parties--but those tears of fear and compassion and grief and pain--those tears are a gift, a release. David cried buckets. And I wonder if maybe Jesus didn't cry when He was alone with His Father--but left His tears with Him...Maybe if we're always leaning into Him...

    I cry at movies, during songs...

    You've got me thinking this morning. Thank you!

    1. You are right, Sandra. And as soon as I posted this, God showed me the relief of tears.
      Even in the face of that, though, understanding the difference between the pity parties and genuine grief is probably an exercise worth engaging.

  2. What a great word. Thanks for sharing!

    Hope you have a blessed day...♥

  3. Terry Orrell wrote a song with the line, "Tears are a language God understands." In Psalm 56 David asked God to put his tears in a bottle. I do think many tears come from selfish reasons.