Breathe: Friday, April 7

Friday, April 7 | Rev. Lindsay Geist | John 11:1-45

When what appears in our nightmares comes true in reality, our hearts can feel lost. We may feel as though we are wandering. We often weep tears of sadness in our grief. I have heard people tell me (and others) to “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and get it together. Tears are often shed in quiet, in secret, full of shame. We try to hold ourselves together and pretend that the nightmare never happened.

In times of distress, I remind myself of the shortest verse in the Bible: “Jesus wept.” It is a verse that sticks with us—not only because it’s the shortest but also because it’s memorable that Jesus was crying. And not just crying, but weeping, the intense tears brought on by grief, disappointment, and loss. Jesus, too, experienced a nightmare becoming reality. One of his dear friends, Lazarus, has died and Jesus arrived too late. Lazarus had been dead four days; there was no chance of revival.

Jesus wept for the memories that he had with Lazarus and the future memories that would not be created. Instead of reminding ourselves that Jesus felt the grief too, we quickly gloss over the verse. We are not alone when we experience sadness and our own personal nightmares. Whatever scale they are, they are real and intense to us. Jesus was not ashamed of his own tears but let them flow freely. As we face our own nightmares, may we remember that tears can be healing and a way to release the heartache from our souls.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the reminder that your son felt our human emotions too. It is part of our nature to feel sadness and important to express it. We do not need to be ashamed of our own tears and grief. Help the tears to flow freely as we release the burden from our hearts. Amen.

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