Sunday, April 27, 2008


I have known men who weep.

Strong men. Solid men.
Men who carry themselves as confidently in business suits as in work clothes. Men whose brows bend easily over their work; whose arms lift bales deftly and babies tenderly. They drive minivans, lawnmowers, golf-carts and pick-up trucks.

Sometimes, they weep.

Last summer, one man wept openly while sharing how a friend came to Christ. He wasn't planning to cry when invited to the front of the church to speak to us. But he did plan the months of long conversations with this friend and the countless hours of intercession on his behalf.

Then in the fall, after the leaves had fallen and biting frost had browned our North Country fields, another man wept before us.
His lovely wife sat amongst us, her arms wrapped around their tiny one-month-old babe whose heart was still learning to work properly. For weeks we had spread our collective prayers and held our collective breaths over this little one's life, and now her father was thanking us through copious tears.

This very morning, our youth group presented a short drama about God's fierce and redemptive love for us that bowled us over. Its effect was unexpected. As the lights flickered back on and we scrambled to recover ourselves emotionally, one of our dear pastors stood and addressed us.

"Does anyone here..." he inquired in a ragged voice, swallowing purposefully-
"Does anyone here remember being that broken?
He raised his own arm. Other arms followed. Time ground to a halt while we considered the enormity of His mercy.
"Can we remember being that bound?" he asked as his face crumpled in remembered pain.
Led by him, we sat in a silence which was saturated with a host of dark memories.

Oh, the praise that followed those tears!

I can think of another man who wept. The Bible tells me in John 11:35 that "Jesus wept." Although scholars declare this the shortest verse in the New Testament, they aren't counting the empty beats of contemplation that come after it.
For as much as I have thought about these other men and the effect their tears have had upon me, I have thought so much more about this Man and his weeping.

It leads me to selah, that mysterious Hebrew word sprinkled throughout the Psalms.
To stop and think about these things is a worthy pursuit.

So to all you strong men:
thanks for weeping.


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