Sunday, November 21, 2010

Strong Crying

I realized recently that when I’m embarrassed about my worry and anxiety in the presence of other people who are handling things so much better than me, that there’s a very good reason for that, and it isn’t a spiritual one: this is not their trial. Of course it’s easier to be confident about the outcome of someone else’s situation!

I thought of that about the time that a scripture began echoing through my memory again. Something about Jesus crying strongly, or, loudly, or . . . . I just remember Jesus crying. Which is not the normal thing you think of when you think of Jesus. Normally He’s depicted in portraits as a somber, holier than thou (can I be struck dead for saying THAT?) Bible character, staring up into heaven with His hands folded properly, or caressing the hair of perfectly groomed ancient children leaning against Him. I hate those pictures. Just like I hate Bible movies. But that’s another journal entry . . .

I do have a picture of Him, though, that I LOVE. It’s a laughing Jesus. I love it because it makes me think that He’s really that relaxed about everything and that nothing EVER worries the King of Kings.

But there was a time when He lived here on planet earth like me, and He cried. I looked up the shards of that verse this afternoon and here’s what it says in Hebrews 5:7:

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One Who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of Jesus crying. I was thinking that He was often described as getting away by Himself alone to pray. There have been times in the last several years when I’ve had loud cries and tears. Always when I’m by myself, and hopefully not when the neighbors could hear. I wonder if that’s one reason He got away to be alone when He needed to do that. It makes people uncomfortable and a little panicky when someone’s in the next hovel yelling and sobbing.

I’m just so encouraged today to know that it’s OKAY to do that. I’ve been burdened by my shame of crying and reacting strongly to trials in my life because I felt that if I had faith in my Father I wouldn’t experience such grieving and extreme emotion. Isn’t there a Bible verse that says, “God has always loved a cheerful liver?” Wait . . . what does my liver have to do with it . . .

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