We gotta cut ourselves some slack on this whole crying thing folks.

There’s just no two ways around it. Men, women, kids; we all need to be okay with crying. The scientific research says it’s good for us. It’s sort of an “out with the bad stuff in with the good stuff” deal. Furthermore, the bible has a bunch of instruction that should make us feel okay about letting the tears flow.

According to the good book time has been specifically earmarked for just this purpose. Ecclesiastes 3: 4 says there is: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”. It’s a good with the bad sort of thing. We will be sad but we’ll rejoice just like we’ll laugh and we’ll cry. If you think about it, it’s absurd to think of telling someone, “Now, you, no more laughing or I’ll give you something to laugh about!” so why would we insert “cry” into that statement? And just like so many other things in this life we’re not supposed to go it alone.

Romans 12:15 says “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” The advice, and it’s good advice, is to be a part of your fellow man’s successes and failures. Together we’re better and together we should feel permission as a community and as friends to allow our emotion, good or bad, to show. We are all human, we all hurt and we all need the comfort of others. Even Jesus, in his full humanity, shed tears.

Long the bastion of kids tasked with memorizing a bible verse, John 11:35, is “Jesus wept.” He wept because his friend Lazarus had died a few days before and Lazarus’s sisters, Mary and Martha, were in pain. Unlike Jesus, they did not know that he would bring their brother back to life. These two women, whom he loved, had been mourning for days by the time he got there. He saw their pain, he felt their pain and as a man he responded like we should. He didn’t put forth some stiff upper lip and bow his back in steely resolve. No, Jesus wept. I don’t think there’s a more poignant story to illustrate the value of emotion than this. That the one person who would ultimately conquer death on this earth would be moved to tears is testament to the love and care he felt for his friends and all of us, especially in our darkest hours.

So when the lump comes to your throat and tears well up in your eyes don’t worry about it. It’s okay. We’re allowed a time to cry. We all do it so we should do it together. Even the most perfect man to ever walk the earth cried. You can too; go ahead.

Do you know someone that keeps all their hurt bottled up inside them? If you do and you think they might like permission to let that out, please share this with them.

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