“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15
One of the stranger symptoms resulting from the traumatic brain injury I got 15 years ago is my tendency to cry at odd times, such as while watching sappy jewelry commercials on TV or foolish pet videos on Facebook.
My hair-trigger weeping is the result of something called “emotional lability” and it is a little disconcerting for someone like me who comes from a family of fairly stoic stiff-upper-lip types. I call these unwanted tears my “silly weeping.”
But there is another kind of weeping I recognize as “holy weeping.” This is weeping for things that really matter: weeping in human solidarity with those who suffer; weeping in genuine grief, loss, or remorse; sometimes weeping in unalloyed joy.
I often weep quietly in church when I am deeply moved by a scripture, a piece of a hymn, or the truth of God’s love told well in a sermon.
St. Paul admonishes us to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” and I think this is an important part of what a congregation is, a communal context for us to do our holy weeping together. We “weep with those who weep,” and I am convinced that in these holy moments God weeps with us.
We know you won’t despise a broken heart, O God. Accept our holy tears as deep prayers of longing and hope for this world you love and for which Christ died.