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What makes people cry?

By Joseph Perry

“Jesus wept.” — John 11:35

Did you know it’s all right to cry?

My supervisor called me this morning because he had lost his best friend. He was hurting. I had to immediately minister to him. That’s why we always have to stay in prayer, and in the word because you never know when The Lord has need of you.

When we cry, we are coming from deep within. When special people depart from us, or when special events occur, or when overwhelming things come to us, people will in fact shed tears. The truth of the matter is, it’s OK to cry. It’s a human characteristic to cry. It’s the makeup of an individual to cry. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, a leader of an organization, or a leader of a family. When special things happen, when sensitive moments are touched in you, we show expressions of tears.

In the fourth gospel of the New Testament, Jesus heard that Lazarus was dead. He and Lazarus were close. They were like family. Someone said that they were brothers from a different mother. It tore Him up to know that Lazarus had departed. Life is that way; one day we will have to depart. It doesn’t matter what you’re working on. It doesn’t matter who loves you the most. It doesn’t matter if you are the one who makes it all come together. One day, The Lord will call you out of this world to come home.

Please allow that to sink in, because life is short, and life is also precious. We are here today and gone today. You have to make the most of today, because tomorrow is not promised.

But listen, it’s OK to cry. Jesus shows us He is divine but yet still human. Whether you know the Lord as your personal Savior or not, when certain things happen, they will make you cry. You see, crying for one can release the agony and pain. Even Jesus couldn’t hold it in. He released it, and when you release it, somehow and in some way, it can take away the agony and pain that you are enduring. It doesn’t show that you are weak, or a lesser person, when you cry.

I saw President Barack Obama cry one year on national television when he saw the video of one more young black man being murdered. Crying can help reduce the pain. Not only that, crying can reveal to others how much you care.

The people who were there watched Jesus as he wept. Oh, how He loved Lazarus so. In His physical ability, He couldn’t do a thing about it. But in His divinity, He had the power to bring him back to life. We have the power to pray and cause God to move in such a way where even in lifeless situations, we can see life still exist. Life still exists in the family. Life still exists in friendships and relationships. Look around and notice life still exists.

Lastly, crying can reset you to go on. Thank God for the memories. You can go on if you want. When John the Baptist died, Jesus and His disciples eventually got it together and went on. It may take a while, but you can go on. Here’s a small portion of a great hymn that was written many years ago titled “Precious Memories”: “Precious father, loving mother, fly across the lonely years, and old home scenes of my childhood, In fond memory appears.

Precious memories how they linger, how they ever flood my soul, in the stillness, of the midnight, precious sacred scenes unfold.”

When people cry, it’s OK, because our Lord cried. And if Jesus can shed a tear, so can you.

Cherish the memories that God gives to you, for one day you will only be a memory.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. Contact him at josephp134@gmail.com.