“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
The shortest verse of the Bible contains one of the most intense emotions in the Bible. How could something bring the savior of the world to tears? Although Jesus was totally divine, he was also human and therefore experienced human emotions. Jesus was overcome with emotion over the death of his friend Lazarus, even though he later raised him from the dead. His concern was also for all of those who were also grieving. The Jews who were there took all this in when they said, “…Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:36)
The recent tragedy in Tucson affected not only those who were shot or lost a loved one, but the nation as a whole. How could such a thing happen in this free country of ours? How could anyone shoot innocent people including a nine-year-old girl who had her entire life ahead of her? More than a week later, people are still talking about how it could happen. With recent interviews with survivors and family members who lost loved ones, the story of their lives helps to know them better. With this familiarity I find myself feeling as though I knew them. I feel like one of the Jews who were looking on when Lazarus died and my heart breaks for those left behind.
I am eager for updates on the condition of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. With each bit of improvement comes encouragement that she will eventually recover, although she has a long, hard road ahead of her. For each person who experienced loss I feel so much empathy and wish I could do something. It is then I realize that I can pray.
Everywhere I go I hear about people who have lost loved ones or are struggling with cancer or some other life threatening disease. Hearing about their struggle makes me want to cry because I feel so helpless.
Sometimes I think I am too sensitive, but then again I would rather care about others than be void of emotion. We can’t take away the pain of people who are suffering even though there were many times I wished I could take the pain myself and spare those I care about. In those times when I feel helpless, I remember I can pray for them.
Jesus cared deeply for people and I imagine there were other times he wept that the Bible doesn’t record. He knew the world was full of evil and sin that kept people from God, but he had a solution. He willingly died on the cross for us. He took the pain of separation from God and provided a way for each of us to have eternal life.
As long as we are on this earth there will be pain, suffering, and death, but we have the hope of things to come. In John 16:33 we have these words of hope: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org