January 12, 2019

Tears Are Okay

John 11:33-36

Jesus wept.

—  John 11:35

I had just come from the hospice facility where I had visited a member of our congregation. He was ready to die and make heaven his home. I knew that when he passed away, I would miss him and our conversations together.

What I didn’t expect that day was to get a call from a young couple asking if I could meet with them at the hospital. The son they had been expecting would not be coming home with them. Complications with the pregnancy had led to a still birth, and the young parents were in shock and grieving. The nurses in the hallway were grieving too. There were also three little girls at home waiting to welcome their little brother. They needed to be told that he wasn’t coming home.

“Reed was perfect in every way. He has gone to be with Jesus now. We know that our heavenly Father will use this for good. Even though this isn’t what we expected or what we wanted for our family, he is still good, and Reed’s legacy will be a testament to his goodness.” These words from the parents reminded me of the Scripture passage for today, showing that Jesus too had to deal with the death of people he loved. How comforting it is to know that just as Jesus wept over his friend Lazarus, he also weeps with us in our grief.

Dear Lord, thank you for showing us that tears are okay. Remind us that you are with us in our grief and that you are our comforter. Please heal our hurts and bring goodness into our lives, that we may share it with others. Amen.

About the author — Beth Fellinger

Pastor Beth Fellinger is a wife, mother, and grandmother who has more than 40 years of experience in pastoral ministry. She and her husband, Barry, have created a missional community in their neighborhood called the Ugly Couch Cafe. From serving coffee at a blue picnic table on their front lawn, to praying with neighbors, to hosting faith gatherings on a weekly basis, the Ugly Couch Cafe has grown—and nothing gives Beth greater joy than introducing people to Jesus.

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