“I’m sorry for the tears,” he says with obvious embarrassment. “It’s just that I miss her so much.” He shields his eyes like the toddler he was 60 years ago, perhaps again imagining he can’t been seen behind his hands.
We have it as a social rule that anything so personal as tears must stay discreetly out of sight. Others feel uncomfortable, we think, imagining that even those who know us well expect us to be dry-eyed in the face of loss.
But tears and all that causes them are proof of life—of being fully human, blessed—yes blessed—with deep capacity to care, to feel, to love, to cherish. Our losses are no less a part of us than all our victories. Those who truly love us never struggle when we weep.
The shortest verse in all the Bible—“Jesus wept” (Jn 11:35)—gives us the longest view of who He is. “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do” (Heb 4:15). The prophet called Him a “man of sorrows, and acquainted with our grief” (Isa 53:3). He doesn’t only preach from mountaintops. He sits with those who grieve; holds those who weep; heals those who hurt.
Grace is for all moments—good and bad, happy and sad, celebrating or grieving. “I am with you always,” Jesus says, “even to the end of the world” (Matt 28:20).
Accept the company of One who never was afraid of tears. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott