Holy Weeping

Jon Opgenorth

READ : Romans 12:9-20

. . . weep with those who weep. (v. 15)

What makes you weep? I cannot get the image of a little boy out of my mind. I still see him playing in the dirt by a church I visited in Uganda. Birth dealt him a blow: his eyes could barely see and his mind could hardly function. The boy’s presence echoed the truth that we live in a fallen world.

I don’t do suffering well. I know God is sovereign. I also know that this side of heaven there will be poverty and pain. But when you see it face to face, you cannot escape to the secure life in North America and so quickly forget.

What do you do in the face of suffering? Paul says, “weep.” He does not say, “Fix it. Make it right.” North American Christians too often try to fix everything, but some things cannot be fixed. So Paul says, “weep with those who weep.”

When we weep, we join in the other’s suffering. We sympathize; literally, “suffer with” them. We help to carry the burden and ease the pain. And we are forever changed: more grateful for God’s provision, more earnest in our giving, and more aware that our world needs a Savior who will come again—and pain and tears will be no more (Revelation 21:4).


Precious Lord, help me not to turn a blind eye to the suffering around me today.