Over a decade ago, I began to occasionally write reflections as the Spirit of God moved me to do so. The purpose was to leave a written legacy or memory for my children and grandchildren. Too often, men die without their family knowing the things that were on their hearts and mind. So I began to write.
Here is an example of one of my reflections written on November 15, 2005.
Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
When my beloved sister, passed away suddenly, one quiet and calm Sunday morning, I cried deeply and I cried immediately. Now, crying has not been that unusual for me over the past 23 months. Crying without delay is. For the first time in my life, I cried immediately following the death of someone who was close to me. It usually takes weeks, months, years or even never.
I did not immediately cry over the departure of my grandfather, my grandmother, my uncle, my dad, my aunty, my in-laws, my mother or any close friend. In some instances, I was overwhelmed with grief and experienced the deep sorrow of others, but failed to shed a tear.
Was I being strong? Was I playing a supportive role? Was I the rock against which the waves of tears could not break? Or was I just empty and void of the things that make humans human?
I remember growing up a man-child. I refused to cry from as early as I can remember. No acting like a 98-pound weakling even when I was a 98-pound weakling. No showing any hurt even when my inner being, my soul, was filled with pain and sorrow. After all, big boys don’t cry. Men don’t mourn. The brave are bold. And the heroic never shed a tear.
Gradually, the God of mercy has opened up the spigot of sorrow through which flow the river of renewal. I can cry over the things that sadden me. I no longer am on the outside looking in on those who can express their grief in ways that relieve the deep sadness in their souls. I can now officially be a part of the company of the crying. I can stand in solidarity with the sorrowful.
Good things happen when people, who are in pain, cry. The Bible says that, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting…” From tears to joy? From calamity to cheerfulness? From grief to gladness? From silence to shouting? Impossible… Yet, “nothing is impossible with God”, which means that God can take the impossible and make it, not only possible, but a promise.
I am so thankful that we worship a God who understands. He understands that we are frail. He understands that we are frightened. He understands that we are vulnerable. He understands that we weep and mourn over those whom we have loved and lost. He understands because He became human and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth.
And because He eventually chose to die so that we could live… what we sow in tears can turn to shouts of joy. And someday, there’s a greater shout to come.
Something to think about…