Many men feel uncomfortable crying. Some men can’t cry. They think tears are a sign of emotional weakness. Yet in John 11:35 we read that at the tomb of Lazarus, “Jesus wept.”
It’s the shortest verse in the bible, just two words, yet it speaks volumes. The word for “wept” doesn’t refer to a sadness that produces a glistening in the eyes. Nor does it refer to a gentle cry that softly pushes a few tears from the tear ducts. The word used here spoke of a deep sorrow of the soul that squeezes tears from the eyes like water from a sponge.
God wrapped in skin wept at the grave of a friend. Not because of the loss of Lazarus but because he felt compassion for the sisters and friends of Lazarus who grieved his death. Read John 11:33-35 and observe the humanity of Jesus. Observe the man crying for his friends. Notice the calloused hands of the carpenter as they wipe the tears from his cheeks.
Some men don’t even cry in private. They take pride in the fact that they are as dry and hard as a rock. Too bad. You see, tears are tools that help us heal. Research indicates tears are the body’s way of washing away toxic chemicals. Tears clean the body and soul. When we hold them back, we dam up an emotional stream that needs to flow to purify the heart.
In the course of your life you’ve been wounded. As you review the hurt you’ve suffered, you may need to cry. Disappointment may have taken a toll. Go ahead and weep. It’s OK. Grieve over your disappointments and losses. God understands. As you cry, imagine Jesus wrapping his strong arms around you. God loves you and desires to heal your hurts.
Remember, even warriors cry. And even warriors need someone to comfort them.
Photograph by Tom Pumford