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  • Larry Payne

A Weeping King

Tears come easily for some people, while for others a tear is rare. Each drop conveys a message to our body and to others. Science knows the contents of our tears connect to a therapeutic, soothing impact. At the same time, weeping invites an empathetic response from others. When Jesus approached Jerusalem on his final week of life, he stopped and wept. He had come with a message of peace under the oppressive Roman occupation. But the faith leaders rejected it, threatened by what it might mean. Like the prophet Jeremiah had preached centuries before, the choices of the people would bring horrific consequences to the nation. Then, it was destruction by Babylonian armies; for Jesus it was be the army of Rome he knew would prevail. We can glimpse the emotions of God in the tears of Jesus. That is extraordinary! God isn’t removed from us in another spiritual world but united with us in experiencing this world. The tears show God in relationship with us and all of the universe, affected by what we choose to do. God suffers, rejoices, and responds to all that happens. Even more, God responds with unfailing love and patience no matter what, drawing us toward the Good. As Jesus dried his tears and continued the work for a few more days, so God yet continues to work today. Can we wonder what God feels today about our family, church, or community? (Painting by Enrique Simonet, Flevit super illam; Prado Museum, Madrid)

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