Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. God gave him a vision of Judah’s future. It wasn’t good. Within the huge collection of prophetic oracles that make up the fifty-two chapters of Jeremiah's witness, one finds more than tears, more than frank admissions of pain, and more than convictions about the evils of Judah. One also finds startling promises of hope, hope found not merely in the possibility of human repentance, but grounded squarely in the amazing grace of God. Such a passage is 31:31-34. In this world we have troubles. Even as Jeremiah was weeping for Israel and Judah, his tears turned to hope that God would make all things new.
Jesus is known as our Savior, but Jesus also shows his empathy and compassion through His tears. In John 11 Mary and Martha send for Jesus because Lazarus is very sick. Lazarus dies before Jesus arrives and Mary and Martha are in mourning, surrounded by their Jewish friends. It was when Jesus saw Mary weeping, and all the Jews who had come along side her also weeping, that Jesus shed his tears. He saw the pain being felt by the group. It affected Jesus deeply and he wept. (Jn 11:35)
It is okay to weep for someone you love. It is not the loss, but the losing that hurts. The losing of good times, dreams, conversations and autonomy. So we let the feelings flow through us as we slowly and quietly weep our tears so as not to disturb others. Finally, we fall back to sleep as the good thoughts and memories of past times start to enter our mind. Tomorrow will be another day. We need our rest. The bitter/sweet taste of tears has given us some release. The tears slowly dry. Somehow, we are tired again and ready for sleep. And the night passes.
Did God just give our feelings a cleansing? Did we experience hurt and love at the same time? Was God trying to share a word with us?
“Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor last a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:4-5