It took me a long time to realise that there is strength in tears. I have been asking myself what are the things for which we weep. Well, we weep with gratitude for the many amazing gifts that come our way. We cry when we experience moments of great joy with others. I have discovered that tears enable us to get in touch with our deepest feelings. They help us to express our grief at endings and at the loss of those dear to us.
Once, I had the privilege of visiting a church in Jerusalem called Dominus Flevit; it is situated halfway down the western slope of the Mount of Olives and marks the place where Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. The little church is shaped like a tear drop. That visit touched me deeply and led me to reflect on the times that Jesus wept.
I would like to put the Weeping Jesus before you as an image to contemplate at this time. For what did He weep? He wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:33-35) He wept over Jerusalem. In Heb. 5:7, we learn that He prayed to His Father with loud cries and tears. In our time, we weep over our Jerusalems of Ukraine, Syria, Turkey, Somalia, of violence, homelessness, refugees, asylum seekers, abuse…………………
Tears are a gift of God and their fruit is always joy. Weeping arises from the heart and signifies an open and softened heart. Perhaps that is why so many people do not want to show their vulnerability. Yet, many of us have felt the rich communal bonds of crying with others.
Would it not be good and wholesome to reflect and give thanks for such rich and communal bonds???
Sonnet: Jesus Weeps (Malcolm Guite)
Jesus comes near and beholds the city
And looks on us with tears in his eyes,
And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity
Flow from the fountain whence all things arise.
He loved us unto life and longs to gather
And meet with his beloved face to face.
How often has he called, a careful mother,
And wept for our refusals of his grace,
Wept for a world that, weary with its weeping,
Benumbed and stumbling, turns the other way;
Fatigued compassion is already sleeping
Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.
But we might awaken yet, and face those fears,
If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ tears.
B. O’ S.