Prepare for Joy: A God Who Weeps

SoliloquiesCharis
Charis-Kairos (The Tears of Christ) by Makoto Fujimura

cherryblooms2

33 When Jesus saw her weeping,
and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping,
he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
John 11:33-36

 

Beauty, to the Japanese of old, held together the ephemeral with the sacred. Cherry blossoms are most beautiful as they fall, and that experience of appreciation lead the Japanese to consider their mortality. Hakanai bi (ephemeral beauty) denotes sadness, and yet in the awareness of the pathos of life, the Japanese found profound beauty.

For the Japanese, the sense of beauty is deeply tragic, tied to the inevitability of death.

Jesus’ tears were also ephemeral and beautiful. His tears remain with us as an enduring reminder of the Savior who weeps. Rather than to despair, though, Jesus’ tears lead the way to the greatest hope of the resurrection. Rather than suicide, Jesus’ tears lead to abundant life.
~Makoto Fujimura

 

Daily I see patients in my clinic who are struggling with depression, who are contemplating whether living another day is worth the pain and effort.  Most describe their feelings completely dry-eyed, unwilling to let their emotions flow from inside and flood their outsides.  Others sit soaking in tears of tragedy and despair.

Their weeping moves and reassures me — it is a raw and honest spilling over when the internal dam is breaking.  It is so human.

When I read that Jesus weeps as He witnesses the tears of grief of His dear friends, I am comforted.  He understands and feels what we feel, His tears just as plentiful and salty, His overwhelming feelings of love brimming so full they must be let go and cannot be held back.

Our Jesus who wept with us became a promise of ultimate joy.

There is beauty in this, His rain of tears.

photo by Nate Gibson from Higashi-Kurume, Tokyo
photo by Nate Gibson from Higashi-Kurume, Tokyo
sakurarain
the “pink rain” of sakura blossoms in Higashi-Kurume, photo by Nate Gibson

 

One thought on “Prepare for Joy: A God Who Weeps

  1. Emily,

    Thank you for sharing with us Fujimura’s compelling abstraction of Christ’s Tears (Charis-Kairos). I had seen his works on the Four Gospels Project previously and liked them. They reminded me a little of the Book of Kells although both are from entirely different cultural perspectives and use different techniques.

    Nate’s pics from Tokyo are lovely. Artistic expression certainly runs in the Gibson family.

    It is especially appropriate that you chose today, Passion Sunday, and the beginning of the Christian Holy Week for your teaching.

    Scripture tells us that Jesus also wept over the city of Jerusalem and possibly in the Garden of Gethsemane, both prior to the crucifixion event.

    Your striking comments on ‘tears’ show us so clearly the full import of Jesus’ humanity and His empathy and compassion in His willingness to weep, to shed tears, to empty Himself and to stand naked before us.
    [‘See, my precious ones, I AM like you in your humanness. That is why my Father
    has sent me to you to show you the depth of His love for you and to acknowledge
    that He knows and understands your pain wrought from your brokenness.’]
    I have used poetic license here to imagine what Jesus might have said.

    Your imagery of ‘the internal dam…breaking’ is so descriptive of the act of weeping, sobbing, crying.
    It IS the letting go of our pent up hidden sorrow and our woundedness, held back behind a retaining wall by the sheer force of our willpower and by our reticence to show our true self, our vulnerability. Once released, and emptied of the dross behind the dam, we are washed clean by the cleansing waters of our tears. It is only then, and with the help of Jesus who experienced heart-rending sorrows, that the healing can begin. He demonstrated that to us by His promised Resurrection!

    Like

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