One of the lies in my Canadian culture is that crying is a sign of weakness. Crying means you have admitted defeat and are putting yourself at someone else’s mercy and therefore are weak. You are showing someone else that they have power to deeply affect you, and even to control you. This is seen as weakness. Even if you don’t believe all of those things, there is the belief that crying solves nothing. It doesn’t get anything done and therefore is weak.
That belief is a lie.
In the Bible weeping is often portrayed as an immensely powerful act. And as Christians we need to know that putting yourself at the mercy of others and showing them how much they affect you is one of the strongest acts of love you can do. God did it to save all of our lives when Jesus died on the cross.
Malicious aggression and mindless control are not at the heart of our God, it’s weeping. It’s tears. It’s mercy. It’s surrender. It’s love.
The power of weeping hit my heart today as I read about Ezra and was shocked by this line:
While Ezra prayed, and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. (Ezra 10:1)
Ezra made himself the epitome of what is considered weak in my culture. He cast himself down and wept. That was his reaction when he learned that there had been sins committed. He poured out the most vulnerable parts of his heart in public. And that act alone drew a “great assembly” to him. Not through aggression or cleverness or money or a show of power or great advertising, through casting himself down and weeping.
The first thing the crowd says to Ezra is “We have broken faith with our God” (Ezra 10:2). They repent.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
We serve a God who knows exactly how many tears you have cried, he bottles them, he records them. They are precious to him. You are precious to him.
Don’t be afraid to weep where you can be seen and heard when you know God’s heart is torn or when yours is aching. It is powerful. It is needed. It is love. And it will make a difference.
Global Prayer Catalyst Assistant