“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
Lament is an indispensable posture for the person who loves Jesus and loves the same people he loves. Those who do it are “comforted” by the fact that they are loving people in a way similar to the way Jesus loves them and are therefore those whom God deems “blessed.”
Not all tears are created equal. They come in an assortment of stripes and in response to a variety of circumstances. There are attention-getting tears and tears of self-pity, neither of which are the best of tears. I’ve cried enough of them myself to know that they don’t yield their desired results. Then there are tears of repentance and others of joy. I recommend both of those at times appropriate.
Other good tears are shed in grief, uncertainty, confusion, fear, and empathy. In the biblical narrative poets, prophets, and apostles all shed and recommend these kinds of tears as both personally therapeutic and socially potent. “Our tears are sacred,” says Rob Bell. “They water the ground around our feet so new things can grow.”
“There is a time… to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:4
This is an excerpt from a book I hope to publish in the near future on the Sermon on the Mount called: What In The World? Some Moral, Social, and Politically Disruptive Implications of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
As such, I’d appreciate your feedback on this post and others to come in order to make the final copy publish-worthy.