Tears

Tammy De Ruyter

Read: John 11:33-36

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled . . . Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” (vv. 33-36)

When Artie stood up from the table, she seemed healthy. No one questioned her ability to walk or her decision to leave the dining room. As she turned around, however, the unthinkable happened: Artie crumpled to the ground. Bones decayed by osteoporosis would no longer support her weight and she simply collapsed. Artie later died as a result.

Bud had been watching. While the skilled team of nurses ran to the scene, Bud’s jaw locked open and his eyes were frozen wide. Even under normal circumstances, he couldn’t talk. Bud had an intellectual disability, and he had developed a language of his own using vocal sounds, facial expressions, and arm gestures. He could usually make himself understood. But today, his speechless fright turned to uncontrollable sobs.

Jesus also wept. Lazarus was dead, and Jesus grieved for his friend. Or did he? Do we really know what transpired in the mind of the Lord that day? Were they sad tears for a life cut short; or were they tears of compassion for the pain he saw in his friends? Did he cry for all humanity, or for some secret sorrow? Perhaps we’ll never know. What we do know is that just as Bud wept for his friend, Jesus also wept. In doing so, he shares in our human burden and pain. — Tammy De Ruyter

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for sharing our humanity; for the compassion you displayed.