Have you ever heard 'the tears' make their way down a face? Have you heard the painful grief that is so loud and angry that it's silent?
I don't know how the great "I AM" is going to bring life to this situation. It hurts too much, listening to all the sounds that can't be heard.
Sometimes I feel like all I can do is validate the pain. (Excerpt from my school journal 20th September 2016)
The words (poetic as they may be) sound hopeless don't they? Validating someone else's pain certainly doesn't sound like it has any transformative value, in fact it sounds stagnant.
Unless you notice how Jesus validates pain...
When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. (John 11:32-35 NRSV)
The apostle John shows us that healing is started with our tears, which lead to Jesus tears. And it's with Jesus tears that this passage turns and moves and brings new life. But first Jesus validates the pain, the great 'I AM' hurts with us and shows us what solidarity looks like. One of the leading voices in the study of what and how empathy works, Brene Brown, has authored a number of books which speak to courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame and in her latest book Braving the Wilderness she places incredible value on tears...
“Not enough of us know how to sit in pain with others. Worse, our discomfort shows up in ways that can hurt people and reinforce their isolation. I have started to believe that crying with strangers in person could save the world.”
The tears are the beginning of something beautiful.