This is an except from my book Comfort for Those Who Grieve, which is a series of devotionals for those going through times of loss. I hope to finish the manuscript by the summer of 2019.
It is Good to Express Your Sorrow
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 11:33-35)
In the first few months after Margaret died, I tried to restrain my crying. When I was alone it wasn’t so bad, but in public, around friends or co-workers, tears were such a disruptor. I felt embarrassed. I saw myself as a mood-killer. I equated weeping with being weak. I loathed how unmanageable my emotions were. My tears just flowed. . . whether a trickle or a stream, they came and went as they pleased. I wept at work. I wept while having dinner with my children. I wept at church. I wept in the produce department at the grocery store. Name a place I frequented—I probably wept there. Can you relate?
Thankfully, God has helped change my perspective with two words: “Jesus wept.” My Savior’s weeping tells me I shouldn’t try to hold back my tears. His encouragement is for us to open the floodgates of emotion as often as necessary. Allow your tears to cloud your vision and stream down your cheeks whenever they’d like. It’s OK. It’s healthy. It’s good for you.
Recently, my friend Kristal told me she was crying over the loss of her friend Randy. As I told her I was sorry for her tears, she responded, “No need to be sorry. Tears are therapeutic and a part of healing.” She was right. Tears are essential in times of loss.
Nancy Guthrie puts it this way:
“While tears can be awkward for everyone, tears are really such a gift. Tears have a way of washing away or carrying away the toxicity of the pain of grief. To shed tears is to release the tension and get the pain out in the open where it can be dealt with.”
In God’s sight it is healthy to cry. You have his blessing to weep as often as you need to.