Crying with Permission

“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35 (NIV)

I’ve cried a lot lately.

I’ve experienced the loss of my grandmother, a lifelong friend and mentor. I’ve made difficult decisions that took me to my knees in the process of making them. I’ve grieved the mistakes I made when I didn’t love myself enough to protect by body or my spirit.

I’ve cried until I literally couldn’t cry anymore.

Even when I’m crying alone, I feel embarrassed I can’t keep it together. I fall victim to a society that indicts emotion and criminalizes imperfection.

And then I remember my friend Jesus.

The Christ who came to save the world. The one who set the captives free. The personification of so many things I hope to be.

I remember my friend Jesus crying at the loss of his friend Lazarus and the troubled sister who mourned Lazarus’s death.

I remember that even the all-powerful Christ—with the ability to bring Lazarus back to life—was still moved to tears by the loss and emotions surrounding him.

I remember these tears, and I weep.

Jesus knew we’d need permission to cry sometimes.


My God, we know joy comes in the morning. Let us not flee from pain to find it. Amen.

About the Author
Marchaé Grair is a spiritual director in training and the Director of Public Relations and Outreach for the Unitarian Universalist Association.