Words of Hope: Tears of Christ

Watching the war in Ukraine has been devasting. The cruelty of Putin, the shocking images of destruction, the terror that feels palpable around the globe. The tears of children especially strike me as I watch posts of families saying goodbye. A beautiful person in our NBC Office was born and raised in Ukraine though she is Moldovan. Her family came as refugees to the USA when she was thirteen. We pray every day together at 12:12 in honor of Romans 12:12. She started the prayer and began to weep for Ukraine. She rarely cries, and her tears took me by surprise. She ushered all of us into the collective weeping for Ukraine. The ancients called this the “gift of tears” revealed as we cry in our brokenness out to God in prayer. My dear friend Mako Fujimura, a world-renowned artist, painted the tears of Christ for the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Christ delayed His return to Bethany, and in doing so, Lazarus died. He withheld the miracle of healing. As he saw the suffering, Jesus wept. The shortest lines in scripture but truly the prism through which we see all the gospel. God is willing to join us in our suffering. To love is to suffer; there can be no other form of love. God invites us into this love. Maya Angelou says, “Love costs us all we are and will ever be, yet it is only love that sets us free.” We join together and weep collectively for Ukraine, Russia, and the world. We weep as the collective tears of all generations, including the tears of Christ, are perpetually renewed on earth. We pray the tears of the world, as we pray for Ukraine, bring God’s resurrection power.  

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” – John 11:33-35