"Are you crying?" My college room-mate lay in the dark on the opposite side of the dorm room, behind the desk/divider that defined our personal spaces.
"Yes." I wiped my nose with the back of my hand.
She clicked on a light and came to sit on my bed. "I didn't know. You are so quiet."
So, yes, I'm a quiet cry-er. I don't know why. Maybe it's because there were so many rather loud and dramatic people in my family when I was growing up. Maybe I just decided there wasn't room for any more noise or drama!
Maybe it's because tears always caused such a caffuffle, made everyone uncomfortable. I remember that when my mom used to chop onions, she'd start tearing up - and then I'd start tearing up, too, sad because I thought my momma was sad. She'd laugh and say, "It's just the onion, Camille!" - but I didn't really believe her, not completely.
Steve doesn't like tears either - if I'm sad, it makes him miserable, which makes me feel bad, which makes him feel worse...pretty quickly it starts feeling like we're both living under the black shadow of Mordor.
Maybe it's pride, or a distorted sense of privacy, or just personality that causes me to cry silently. I really don't know.
Somewhere in this journey, tears got tied to guilt. If my crying always caused someone else to feel bad, that couldn't be good or right, could it? Better to slip out for a long walk in the rain, take some time to pull myself together, avoid discomfiting others.
Last night, as I lay crying silently and alone in the dark, the story of Lazarus's death came to mind, and I considered anew that one tiny verse: Jesus wept.
What comfort! It was as if Jesus stood beside me in the dark, crying silent tears Himself. No wearisome questioning - What's the matter? Why are you so sad? No condemnation - You need to grow up. This is no big deal, so just get over it. No untimely advice - Just trust God and He'll make everything all right!
Nope. None of that.
No guilt. No shame. Just compassion. The compassion of a Friend weeping with me. Not weeping for me, or over me, or because of me, but with me.
Jesus wept. I don't know if I have ever read more deeply-comforting words.
3 months ago