Cry Baby

Jesus wept. I do not consider Him a cry baby. So what about me?

I was considered a “cry baby” most of my life. Only in my senior adult years have I accepted my vulnerability in emotionally drawn circumstances. It may be the death of someone dear, a friend being treated for cancer, a photo of one starving or a refugee camp in Yemen (seen on the news), the recent mob targeting our nation’s Capitol, a situation that just hits me square in the heart, a person coming to know the Lord, a birth of a child. Much brings me to tears. I have been that way since a child.

My dear mother, whom I had a talk with years ago about this, and have forgiven her long ago, struggled with my tears. She was a strong woman and was not prone to tears, at least not in public or around us kids. I would often be sent to my room to cry. That was her way of dealing with me, those tears running down my face. When Daddy died, I was a month from turning thirteen. When I asked if I could go to his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, her answer was, “Yes, if you won’t cry.” Well, I knew I would cry because I loved Daddy dearly, so I did not go to his funeral. To this day, when I see a caisson on the news or in a photo, I tear up, knowing I missed that extremely special moment of closure of Daddy’s life. Yes, I have been to his grave a number of times and mourn my loss. My mother’s body is buried in his grave now too. And, yes, I cry every time. I miss them both.

Tears are not a bad thing in my purview. I cry and usually feel relieved, worn out, loved, or a number of other outcomes. These water droplets running down my face from those tiny ducts at the edge of my eyes were a gift from God! God made those tear ducts. God created tears.

κλαίω

klaiō

  1. to mourn, weep, lament
    1. weeping as the sign of pain and grief for the thing signified (i.e. for the pain and grief)
    2. of those who mourn for the dead
  2. to weep for, mourn for, bewail, sob for one

And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44

Jesus wept because:

from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Luke: Jerusalem has not improved the day of her opportunities. He wept, and said, If thou hadst known, even thou at least in this thy day, if thou wouldst but yet know, while the gospel is preached to thee, and salvation offered thee by it; if thou wouldest at length bethink thyself, and understand the things that belong to thy peace, the making of thy peace with God, and the securing of thine own spiritual and eternal welfare-but thou dost not know the day of thy visitation, v.44. The manner of speaking is abrupt: If thou hadst known! O that thou hadst, so some take it; like that O that my people had hearkened unto me. How happy had it been for thee! Or, “If thou hadst known, thou wouldest have wept for thyself, and I should have no occasion to weep for thee, but should have rejoiced rather.” What he says lays all the blame of Jerusalem’s impending ruin upon herself. 

Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! Psalm 81:13

At eight days of age, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem to be circumcised, as was the Jewish custom. When they entered the temple, Simeon and Anna recognized Him as the Messiah. (See my post of 12/2020 – For My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation). Now, more than thirty years later, Jesus entered to be crucified. He was not recognized as the Messiah. “Jesus grieved for a people who would not know peace. Jesus grieved for the city that would pay for its spiritual blindness with destruction. Holy grieves.” *

In Luke 6:21, the same Greek word is used in one of the Beatitudes:

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” Luke 6:21b

Jesus is reminding us that tears do indeed turn to joy at some point.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:4-6

Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13

Jesus also wept as He met the sisters of Lazurus, who had died. From the Greek word used in this instance, the tears were most likely silent, running down the cheeks of Jesus, our Lord:

δακρύω

dakryō

to weep, shed tears, silently

Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also 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 11:32-35

from The Commentary on John by John Calvin: “Christ has put on our feelings along with our flesh.” …. “The example of Christ ought to be sufficient of itself for setting aside the unbending sternness which the Stoics demand; for whence ought we to look for the rule of supreme perfection but from Christ? We ought rather to endeavor to correct and subdue that obstinacy which pervades our affections on account of the sin of Adam, and, in so doing, to follow Christ as our leader, that He may bring us into subjection. Thus Paul does not demand from us hardened stupidity, but enjoins us to observe moderation in our mourning, that we may not abandon ourselves to grief, like unbelievers who have no hope for even Christ took our affections into Himself, that by His power we may subdue every thing in them that is sinful.”

In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Hebrews 5:7

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. I Thessalonians 4:13

“Never weakness to grieve where God is grieving.” *

“No one understood God’s goodness and control more than Jesus, and He still wept. Which means we can too.” *

Do my tears make me less of a person? Weak? Once I felt that they did. I was made to think I was by the actions and words of others. Kids called me “cry baby” because I did. Those two little words hurt. They diminished me. At least I thought they did. I did not have much confidence in myself. I did not think I was very capable of doing various things. I did not believe I could stand up for myself either. I was weak, so I thought. As life moved along, I carried that with me and even as an adult, I allowed injury to my heart due to feeling inferior in so many ways. Many of the teen boys and later adult men treated me as inferior. Not all, I admit. Not all. But enough to keep me thwarted.

But then I met Kenneth who introduced me to Jesus. Jesus showed me His heart through Kenneth. Kenneth and I married. We were each forty-five years of age. I never knew this love from Heaven before. I never knew I could be me and still be loved. Jesus treated me as a whole and beautiful person. Kenneth treated me as a whole and beautiful person. Kenneth and I were married for twenty-five years. He died of cancer June, 2018…just the other day…yet seems like forever ago! I have a Husband. His Name is Jesus. He is with me.

For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is His name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth He is called.
Isaiah 54:5

I know I can cry and be loved unconditionally. I can weep anytime of day or night and still be loved. I am no longer called a “cry baby.”

Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5b

You have kept count of my wanderings;
put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Psalm 56:8

Oh sweet Jesus, I love You so. You draw me near as You grow me to be more and more in Your likeness. I am grateful that You took on my flesh so that I can see You be a me, see You weep, see You laugh and love. Growing in You is about reading Your Word and seeing You in that beautiful Book walking, talking, being a human while being God at the same time. I am so grateful that You love me so that You have taken my sinful self and nailed it on that awful Cross. I am sorry You had to go through that for me, others such as me. May we each look to You and know that we are made perfectly in the image of God. One day…that beautiful day…we will see You face-to-face and know…know just how much You love us. In Your Glorious Name, I pray. Amen.

Tearful eye photo

*quotes from “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole

Jesus weeps over Jerusalem drawing

Jesus Wept photo with graphics: http://www.firstchurches.org/we-who-must-die/

25 thoughts on “Cry Baby

  1. I have a very hard time crying and cannot remember the last time I did cry (although I cried often…far too often I was told as a child). Often I wish I could cry – what a gift it would be in so many ways. Be thankful for your tears and for the feelings they express – and that God understands. This was such a special post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw, I’m sorry you missed your dad’s funeral because your tears weren’t permitted there. That is making me cry now. (Count me in the cry baby club, obviously! lol)

    I understand as an adult that it’s good to cry. Yet sometimes I still want to keep my tears inside when I don’t want to feel vulnerable to others. But usually the tears come out anyway, whether or not I want them to. I’m so glad we know that Jesus cried too. If he did, we can too. Great post, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have a beautiful heart of mercy, Linda. I’m so glad you accepted your tears as from Him. I’m also rejoicing for this beautiful relationship you experienced for twenty-five years, “I never knew I could be me and still be loved. Jesus treated me as a whole and beautiful person. Kenneth treated me as a whole and beautiful person.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Donna B

    Beautiful post, Linda. I am so sorry for your experience as a young girl losing your father and not attending the funeral. Tears are a gift. I tell those I work with in bereavement never to apologize for their tears; your tears honor the memory of those you loved who are now gone. Sweet Linda, never apologize for your tears for they demonstrate great love.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so beautiful, Linda. I cry at coffee commercials (Folger’s coffee came out with some very touching commercials during the first Gulf War and I happened to be pregnant). I cry over books, sad, movies, moving hymns, just about everything. I’ve learned to carry kleenex with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh, Linda. Your post spoke deeply to my heart. I so appreciate your vulnerability. I, too, was one who cried easily as a child. I was mocked and made to feel less-than (which made me cry). It seems like it’s a process of becoming to discover that tears are beautiful in God’s eyes. Thank you for the many verses, commentary remarks and other thoughts about tears. Sending a hug from one tender soul to another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just went and looked up “Sitting Shevah.” I love it and want to know more. I will be pondering some of the many things the Jewish people do NOT do during that seven day period and what they DO do. So fascinating to learn about other practices and cultures. Thanks.

      Like

  7. Dear Linda, Your words have moved me so deeply today. I too was called a “cry baby” when I was young, but I have felt the compassion of Jesus so much through the years too. This morning I woke up with the old hymn on my mind “Tears are a language God understands.” What a sweet confirmation from the Lord. Blessings and prayers for you dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda, yes, our tears are gifts from God. They show compassion and hurt and empathy. Others can feel uncomfortable with them, but that doesn’t make them bad. I am so glad your husband loved you just as you are, tears and all. We need people like that in our life. Imagine if there were no criers in this life? Who would be there to mourn the sad and bad and evil. Who would help others see this tender side of life? Thanks for this honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joanne Viola

    Linda, like you, I am moved to tears easily and often. I have been teased about it and for many years embarrassed, but have long since accepted them. Thank you for sharing this encouraging post and your sweet Kenneth with us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Psalm 56:8 was one highlighted to me by the Holy Spirit during my first relationship. One that caused many tears & much heartache for far too long. Then my sweet Ed came along & what a blessing he was until he died of brain cancer.
    I’m glad we are made in God’s image (who is an emotional God) & that we have the example of Jesus displaying many of our human emotions including tears.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maryleigh Bucher

    Linda – I’m not a cryer. We were encouraged to keep our sorrows to ourselves so as not to distress our mom. Growing up, I think I wished that someone would see my sorrow and comfort me. I married when I was 21 – and, oh, how he has allowed me to be me and because of how he has loved me, I understand so much more about how God loves me. I am so glad we have had husbands who were a safe place to allow us to thrive – and that we have a father who values each tear – and writes the story of it in a book – and keeps them in a bottle! Your prayers always bless my day – Amen and Amen, friend! Shalom, ~ Maryleigh

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Linda, this is SO beautiful! You have generously chosen to use your pain to reach out and help others heal. I, too, am a cryer. Mama didn’t chose denial of emotion to try and shut me down. Instead she accused me of crying “crocodile tears” at will, as a form of manipulation. Now I know she spoke out of her painful past. Growing up it caused me to doubt the genuineness of my emotions and those of others. You are so right that the Lord created us for and gave us tears for a reason. Thanks and blessings for sharing from your tender heart! (Now days I frequently write, like this weeks post, through a veil of tears.)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh Linda, I was so moved by your personal story, and this quote, “”I know I can cry and be loved unconditionally. I can weep anytime of day or night and still be loved. I am no longer called a “cry baby.”” I am praying your closing prayer with you…many blessings 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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