A God who Weeps
“Jesus wept” — John 11:35 (KJV)
There’s been a lot of controversy among theologians as to why Jesus wept. Some say he was burdened by the unbelief displayed by the people around him. Others say it was just a display of his grief.
Honestly, I don’t care much about why Jesus wept, just that he did. And it was recorded that he did. It shows me a Christ who was fully human while being fully divine. A God who weeps.
This year, more than ever, I’ve experienced and seen more closely the evil that exists in the world — the stories from the BLM movement, to the violence against women (most recently highlighted by the #ShutItAllDown movement in Namibia), the genocide in Congo, the stories from the End SARS movement, the Lekki massacre and the various attempts of people in power to conceal the truth — and they have broken me.
I’ve been brought to my knees this year, and often times, not to pray. But to cry, to question, to cast doubts on the person of God. “If you are real, why do you allow these on the ones you love?”
Did I get answers? No, not really.
It’s easy to blame God for the actions (or inactions) of humans who are capable of both good and evil but choose evil. But this also begs the question, do we really choose? Would I not have done the same things these people did if I had lived their lives? What is God’s role in all of this? Where does sovereignty end and where does free-will begin? My questions birthed further questions.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get all the answers I need in this lifetime but the picture of God that gets me through these tough seasons is not that of God sitting on a throne. It is the picture of God weeping, as he (Jesus) trudged along to the grave of his friend. It is the picture of Jesus in a lonely garden, his sweat as thick as blood, crying over and over, “let this pass from me”.
The picture of God that gets me through these tough seasons is not that of God sitting on a throne. It is the picture of God weeping.
This picture comforts me because then I know that God gets it. God gets what it feels like to feel the tightness in your chest that comes from your seeming helplessness in a dark, cold world. God gets it. And more comforting is the fact that in my union with God, God feels everything that I feel. God gets it.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses . . .” Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)
This doesn’t take the pain away, but at least, I know that I’m not alone. And that God is not aloof.
Slowly, then all at once.
The dark clouds depart,
And the damage is done.
So pardon the dust
While this all settles in.
With a broken heart,
(Sorrow by Sleeping at Last)