Yesterday Cameron and Ava had a theological discussion about rain...
Ava: "I know that rain means God is crying."
Cameron: "No, I don't think so. He gives us rain to show his power."
I'm pretty sure rain is not God crying, but he does cry. The shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept." He cried over the death of his friend Lazarus. It wasn't the world God intended. Here's a paradox: God created death then conquered it. Even in that story, he raised Lazarus from the dead. But he still wept.
And so, being made in his image, I also cry on occasion. On occasion, I think because for the most part I'm a simple minded optimist who lives in ignorant bliss. But every once in awhile, this jacked up world meets me head on. It did yesterday.
One of our college students lost his 13 year old brother two weeks ago. After church, I sat with him and his girlfriend, who sat in their seats staring ahead as everyone around them left the auditorium. I asked how he was doing, then sat and listened. I didn't have anything to say. All I had were tears. I know pastors are supposed to have something profound to say to inspire hope.
I gave them both a hug, and that was it.
But I think it's okay. At least that's what I'm trying to tell myself. I've learned a lot about grieving from some of our close friends. They went through a series of Job-like trials. They said it was like people would pull out the file in their minds labeled "Trials" and they would immediately start sharing the information from that file. It's a sort of empathetic preaching.
There are other things that make me weep:
- Feel good stories: The father and son triathlon, The autistic basketball player
- Sad movies: Ray, Cast Away, Awakenings
- Compelling movies: Glory, The Pursuit of Happyness
- Sad books: Kite Runner (The DVD just came out but I haven't seen it yet); A Thousand Splendid Suns
- All funerals, some weddings and rare worship services