Weep With Those Who Weep
"When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him [Lazarus]?' he asked. 'Come and see, Lord,' they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, 'See how he loved him.'"1
Chuck Swindoll in his book Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns, tells about "a little girl who lost a playmate in death and one day reported to her family that she had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother.
"'What did you say?" asked her father.
"'Nothing,' she replied, 'I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her.'"
What did Jesus do when his friend Lazarus died? He wept.
Rare is the friend who knows how to weep with those who weep.
Also, know when to be silent. In the same book Chuck tells about Joe Bayly who lost three of his children. He quotes from Joe's book, The view from a Hearse. Joe writes: "I was sitting, torn by grief. Someone came and talked to me of God's dealings, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly. He said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he'd go away. He finally did.
"Another came and sat beside me. He didn't talk. He didn't ask me leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour or more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, left.
"I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go."2
This visitor and the little girl were being as Jesus to hurting people. May God help us all to be and do likewise.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a tender and sensitive heart and help me to be 'as Jesus' to hurting and sorrowing people. Help me to be silent when I need to be silent, speak kindly when a tender word is needed, and to weep with those who weep. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. John 11:33-36 (NIV).
2. Today's Daily Encounter is taken from I Hate Witnessing-A Handbook for Effective Christian Communications, by Dick Innes (2003 edition), p. 89. Available at: www.actscom.com/store.