December 15, 2023

Crying on the Couch

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

—  2 Corinthians 12:9

I came home one night after officiating at the funeral of a young man who had been shot and killed. I changed clothes and sat on the couch.

My wife, Cate, asked, “How are you doing?”

“I’m good. All good.” This was my response 99.9 percent of the time to that question.

“Really?” she asked.

“I’m good.” The room was quiet.

My eyes welled up, my nose got runny—and before I knew it, I began to sob. I shook and began to say the names of all the young Black men from Roseland who have been shot and killed in the past few years: Marqwell; Andre; Darnell, Sr.; Darnell, Jr.; Larry; and others.

I wept and shook for an hour. My wife wiped tears from my eyes. So much grief, violence, and injustice had to find expression. For 10 years I had kept putting one foot in front of the other and had ignored the pain. And then it all came out on that couch.

This was one of the most important interactions of my life. Letting go of being strong has strengthened relationships. I found that in weakness, tears, and brokenness, the power and grace of God expressed in community show up. Healing and restoration happen in this place.

God, help us to let go of whatever disconnects us from you and each other. Give us the strength to let go of being strong, being right, being correct. Teach us to let go and surrender to you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Joe Huizenga

Joe Huizenga serves as pastor and executive director of Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Cate, have four children.

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