It’s time to cry!

4/28/2020

I’m not talking about “crying” in a metaphorical manner, I’­­­m talking about don’t care who sees it, gut-wrenching, getting-ugly, faced-streaked, nose-dripping, water flowing tears. A cry that springs up from a well of pain and heartache that is battle weary from fighting a relentless foe that you have not been able to defeat. It’s time to cry!
 
Crying is an emotional response. Tears often times are an indication that we have a personal investment. Crying suggests that we have empathy, identification, alignment, and a compassionate, particular attachment one way or the other. It’s time to cry!
 
Let’s face it, most of us have become far too apathetic, dismissive, and unconcerned about many of the things that happen around us every day. It’s not that we don’t care, we’ve simply become calloused or indifferent. It’s time to cry!
 
The news media is filled with reports from around the globe sharing stories of violence, wars, displacement, loss, human suffering, refugees, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and death on an epic scale. Most times, unless it is within our own community or involves some well-known celebrity, we remain unaffected and unchanged. Reports of gun violence, gang activity, robbery, drug use, spousal abuse, homelessness, or corruption barely warrant a raised eyebrow anymore.  It’s time to cry!
 
Call me crazy, but one of the blessings of this pandemic is that it has forced us, even if just for a moment, to take the spotlight off of ourselves and to look at the needs of others within our community and around our world.  As we see the numbers of folks infected increase daily, and the death toll continue to climb to unimaginable numbers, we suddenly realize that life does not center around “me.”  
 
Crying won’t solve this pandemic, but it is a very good place to start. Here’s three reasons why:
 

  1. Because our heart aches and hurt in solidarity with those who are feeling and experiencing loss.
  2. Because we recognize that even our collective strength, wisdom, and resources are not sufficient enough to deter this pandemic.
  3. Because we know that God will hear our cries and will rescue us from this enemy.
 
The Psalmist wrote some fairly clear words that offer us hope and assurance, if we are willing to cry.
 
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18 NIV).
 
Crying is an important way of expressing our dependency and our need for God’s intervention. Our tears, especially those that well-up from the broken recesses of our heart, gets God’s attention. A careful look at the book of Nehemiah reveals that the work of rebuilding and restoration cannot begin until we take the time to weep over the ruins. Have you spent time crying in solidarity with those who are suffering during this  pandemic?  If not, then it’s time for you to cry!
 
It was the great King Hezekiah, upon hearing the news from the prophet Isaiah, that death was coming to his house, the King turned his face to the wall and started praying and crying. God heard the King’s prayers and took note of the King’s tears. God spoke to the prophet and sent him back with a new message, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.”
 
I am not suggesting that tears alone will stop this pandemic. I am not that naïve. I do, however, believe that we have become too self-absorbed and insensitive to the plight and problems of most of the world and that crying with those who are in pain just might be the beginning of the healing process.
 
Jesus demonstrated for us the powerful combination of praying and crying.  According to the book of Hebrews, acting as our High Priest, Jesus prayed and cried out to God.
 
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7 NIV).
 
God sees, God hears, and God cares.  Have you added your voice and your tears alongside others that are interceding? If not, it’s time to cry!
 
God Bless,
Bishop Beard