The Power of Tears
"As he [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, 'If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peaceóbut now it is hidden from your eyes.'"1
Walter Wangerin in his book, The Manger Is Empty, "has a wonderful story, called 'Matthew, Seven, Eight, and Nine' about how he tried to stop his son Matthew from stealing comic books. He tried various uses of the law over several years and continued to fail. Finally, he resorted to something he rarely used: a spanking. He did it deliberately, almost ritualistically, and he was so upset when he finished that he left the room and wept. After pulling himself back together, he went in to Matthew and hugged him.
"A number of years later, Matthew and his mother were doing some general reminiscing, and Matthew happened to bring up the time when he kept stealing comic books. 'And you know why I finally stopped?' he asked. 'Sure,' she said, 'because Dad finally spanked you.' 'No!' replied Matthew, 'No, because Dad cried.'"2
When Jesus' friend, Lazarus, died, the Bible records that Jesus wept.3 And, today, when you and I suffer, and when people reject him, Jesus still cares and grieves deeply just as he did over the death of Lazarus, and as he did over the people in Jerusalem in his day when they rejected his offer of eternal salvation.
Frank E. Graeff, the hymn writer, asked, "Does Jesus care when my heart is pained / Too deeply for mirth and song / As the burdens press and the cares distress / And the way grows weary and long? O yes, he cares; I know He cares / His heart is touched with my grief / When the days are weary, the long nights dreary / I know my Savior cares."
Yes, dear reader, Jesus cares about you and longs that you will come to him with all you heartaches, and especially that you will come to him for the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. If you have not received God's forgiveness and his gift of eternal life, for help be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christianówithout having to be religious," at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you know and understand me more than anyone else ever could, and that you care deeply for me. Please help me to grasp the fullness of your love and concern and learn to trust in you implicitly no matter what. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 19:41-42 (NIV).
2. Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Manger Is Empty, pp. 116-132. Cited on http://girardianlectionary.net/year_b/lent5b.htm
3. John 11:35.