I thought of the following passage of scripture earlier today, in an emotional moment thinking about Summer. For anyone reading this who may not know her, she is one of my closest friends and is undergoing surgery right now to remove cancer from several places in her body.
After a CT scan last night they discovered "something" in her lungs. Two weeks ago when they did a scan her lungs were clear. That disturbed me, to say the least, and I can only imagine the mental/spiritual battle she and Jeremy were in after that news.
Anyway, I was at a low point this morning emotionally, and I wondered what happened to my faith. Then this story came to mind:
Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, friend of Jesus had just died. This is what took place when Jesus arrived:
"Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.' When Jesus therefore saw her weeping...He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see." JESUS WEPT. So the Jews were saying, "See how He loved him!'"
I am struck by the fact that Jesus, knowing He was going to heal Lazarus, raise him from the dead, WEPT. He was moved with compassion by the sorrow of his friends and by the death of Larazus and He cried.
I've talked to a few people today who said they've been a mess all day and they wondered why. Why would we wonder such a thing? Why would we feel guilty for crying?
Our friend is suffering, in a battle for her life, and her husband is, too.
Notice the Jews standing near said, "How He loved him [Lazarus]," because they saw Jesus weeping, visibly troubled.
I think this is a beautiful part of the Lazarus story. I think it's beautiful to weep with those who weep and to feel compassion for our friends. I think it's beautiful to have loved, and been loved by, a friend such that you don't want to lose her.
None of that means we don't have faith. Faith isn't lack of human emotions, it's trust despite emotions. In the presence of them. Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus moments later and, yet, He wept.
There is no shame in tears. The presence of tears isn't a lack of faith, it's the presence of love.