There are not many places in scripture that speak of Jesus weeping, so in the few places it does you tend to take notice and there’s usually a deeper meaning behind it. For example in John 11:32-36 it says, When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see”. Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how much he loved him!”
In Joanna Weaver’s book “Having a Mary heart in a Martha World” she points out that the word for wept denotes a deep sorrow with great emotion. Because Jesus loved this family from Bethany, he wept, and he weeps with us as well. Though Jesus knows our triumphant outcomes, though he sees the joyful ending just around the bend, he still gets down in the middle of our sorrow and holds us close, mingling his tears with our own. And that, I believe is the essence of the story that God writes throughout our lives.
I point this out, because when I became a safe haven for my adoptive son, he was coming to me broken, battered and abused. He was searching for understanding to the sorrows in his life. At night, I would sit on the edge of his bed to say prayers with him and he would share with me some of his horrid past. My heart would break, as he wept, I too would weep. Then one day a woman new to my Franciscan Fraternity, came to me after mass and said she had something she wanted to give me for my new son. It was this picture
When my eyes first gazed on this beautiful picture I knew it was special and came to me by divine providence. That night after I hung it in his room and sat on his bed he asked me, “Why did God let all of those terrible things happen to me? Why didn’t God protect me? And why did my life have to be this way?” I looked at that picture of Jesus with his hands gently caressing that little boy’s face as they both wept and their tears joined together on Jesus hand just above his wound and said, “We don’t understand why God allows such terrible things to happen to little children, but one thing is for sure, as it happened to you, it happened to him too, for he was with you through it all. As you cried, he cried, as you felt pain, he felt pain, and his love is protecting you right now, because it brought you here and those terrible things will never happen to you again.” I assured him this was true as I pointed to his new picture to give him a visual to confirm what I was saying. This picture brought him much comfort and healing. I can’t tell you how many times I have caught him staring at it in silence.
It doesn’t matter what you have done in your life, how you have failed, how others may have failed you, how unworthy you feel from your past, God loves you exactly where you are! With all of your faults and sins! God says in Isaiah 43:4 because you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.
Joanna Weaver continues, Today we suffer, today we don’t understand, but someday in that eternal tomorrow, that same Savior who weeps with us will wipe every tear from our eyes. He’ll unbind our grave clothes of earthly flesh, and we’ll be set free. Someday all the scattered, broken pieces will fall into place, and we will suddenly understand the hand of God has been upon us all the time. All the tragedy-all the darkness- will instantly be swallowed up by triumphs. What a perfect ending to our imperfect stories! That’s the love of our Master Storyteller God.