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The Grim Weeper: What Jesus' Ugly Crying Can Teach Us




If loss has taught me anything about my personality that I didn’t know before, it taught me that I am an ugly crier.


In fact, I don’t know how to cry, beautifully.

As I began mourning the loss of my dad, I found myself breaking down with sweaty eyes and a snotty nose at the most unexpected times. One time, while driving back from visiting my grandparents in Michigan for a few days, my heart decided to continue the healing process.

Tears rolled down my puffy cheeks while snot collected at the top of my lip. In between hyperventilating and what felt like hiccup-crying, I attempted to breathe.


Ugly crying hits at the worst times.


With that story in mind, I want to snatch your attention and bring your focus to John 11:


"Jesus wept." - John 11:35, NIV

Yep. That's it. That's the verse.


However, that's actually not the only time that Jesus weeps. Allow me to snatch your attention once more and bring your focus to Luke 19:


And when [Jesus] drew near and saw the [Jerusalem], He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” - Luke 19:41-44 ESV, Emphasis my own

The greek word used in the Luke passage is klaiō. It means: to mourn, weep, bewail, and lament. It also means "weeping as the sign of pain and grief for the thing signified (source)."


Jesus is the grim weeper.


I don't mean grim in the sense of forbidding or uninviting. Grim can also mean depressing, dreadful, upsetting, shocking, appalling, or worrying to consider (Oxford Dictionary).


In the John Passage, as Jesus is grieving the death of His friend Lazarus, He weeps.

In the Luke Passage, as Jesus enters Jerusalem, and sees a city filled with sin, He weeps.


His heart is completely and utterly broken for those who are grieving and for those who are far from God.


Jesus being an ugly cryer teaches us that it's healthy to mourn and lament for the things that breaks God's heart. If Jesus, being fully human and fully God can ugly cry for the Kingdom of God, then so can I.


Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead, and still He wept.

Jesus knew that He was going to place the sins of Jerusalem (and the world) on His back, and still He wept.


Because weeping doesn't equal a lack of faith or a lack of courage. Sometimes our tears are the most comforting hugs we can offer for people who are hurting.


So my advice for you? Be like Jesus. Be the grim weeper. Grieve with the grieving. Mourn with those who are mourning. Give yourself permission to be broken for what breaks God's heart. Let God use your ugly tears for Kingdom work.




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