The Ministry of Tears
Several months ago I heard a sermon that the Spirit used to stir within me in a most beautiful way. Through a deep humility and passion, the pastor spoke of the power of the ministry of tears and how there are times when the ministry of truth is needed, but more often, what we broken Jesus-followers need is to weep with those who are hurting – rather than rubbing the dry truth on the wounded, weary people. Months ago, our city and state was racked with a devasting and unexpected flood. This pastor shared about about a man he had met from the floods who had lost 30 years worth of belongings. With tears in his eyes, this broken man asked “Why? Why would God allow something like this to happen?” Instead of presenting him with a whimsical speech about how he ought to be thankful he did not lose his life or telling him that life was more important than things, he wept with him and his tears spoke a language that no words could speak. This man did not know Christ, but perhaps He saw and felt something that day that he may never have experienced before in his lifetime – someone who entered into his pain and loved him while being the very hands and feet of Jesus. Walking the road of faith is downright hard. There are no guarantees that the floods won’t take our homes or the jobs will remain in place or that the cancer will stay away. In a world of no guarantees, there is a sure hope that will never disappoint. “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13
My husband and I looked at eachother that Sunday in the car without a lot of words needing to be said. We knew. We knew at that moment, if we had ever second-guessed it before, that the suffering we’ve weathered together was for a specific purpose – to know and see the pain of others in need and to take the necessary risk of entering into someone else’s pain through the sacred ministry of tears.
“Sometimes the proof that God exists is that lightning doesn’t strike but quiet grace rains straight down”. -Ann Voskamp