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