And Jesus Wept [Day 8/365]

These are the first words that played in my mind when I woke up this morning, and I wanted to document them.

I know these phrases don’t go together in scripture. I also know I’m taking a few liberties with the phrasing, but I think the story of how Jesus wept for Lazarus before he raised him — knowing he would raise him — is a wonderful dynamic to reflect on because it shows how Jesus acknowledged a reality before he changed it.

Jesus didn’t walk into town, see everyone crying, and tell them to stop because everything would shortly be fine. He didn’t discount their sorrow because there was a miracle on the horizon.

First, he acknowledged the current reality first. He bore record of his feelings for the untimely loss of Lazarus by mourning his friend’s death with his entire being. And I’ll be so bold as to say that one of the reasons he did this because there is a time for all things and a purpose under heaven.

And, sometimes, there’s a time to truly mourn a loss even if you have faith that the sun will come out tomorrow or there’s a miracle on the horizon.

Even if you have faith things will be better down the road, there is a time to acknowledge the present and release its anguish out of your body, rather than tell yourself things will be better in the future and you need to be strong now — thereby, internalizing the sorrow and carrying it with you as an unprocessed weight to be dealt with ( or not dealt with ) in the future.

Allow yourself to process things as they come and bear witness to how the circumstances are impacting you.

Because there is a time and season for all things, and a purpose under heaven. A time to weep and a time to rejoice, and for each moment to be unabashedly pure, based on the reality of your circumstances. For this is how we are able to live presently in the now, and authentically across time.

That was my morning thought this morning and I didn’t want it to disappear like a dream. So I share it with you and hope it serves you as well.

One Sheep

One of my favorite poems by my grandma is “One Sheep.”

In truth, I have many “favorite” poems by my grandma. I was around 20 when I first read it online. The internet was just becoming a thing and my uncle posted all my grandma’s published work on his website.

I was manning a receptionist desk when I discovered “One Sheep” — reading it again and again while marveling how well she captured a sentiment I think nearly everyone can relate to.

Below is a scan of the poem, as originally published, followed by a recording of me reading it.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

One Sheep

God, I don't know how to start
or what to say.
I do not know the language of a formal prayer
so long it's been since my heart felt the urge to pray,
so long I've made believe no need to pray was there.
But, God, somehow I don't believe You are the kind
to hold a grudge for what I have or haven't done,
and if I just start praying I know You won't mind
or worry much about the way my prayer's begun.
It's over. I've been wrong and I'm not going to make
a lot of fancy promises that may not last,
a lot of crazy vows I'm weak enough to break.
You see, I have discovered mem'ries can be short,
and even tho right now my feet are on the ground,
it's hard to keep them there, so much comes to distort
my sense of values and to twist my views around.
I don't know yet if I can find the way to You,
I am afraid I'm apt to falter now and then,
but I will do the most that anyone can do,
if You'll have patience, honest, God, I'll try! Amen.

Verse by: Kathryn Kay

One Sheep. All rights Reserved. Copyright 1941, 1997, 2019.