What Makes You Cry?

What makes you cry?

For me, it's sad animal stories.

I never realized how sensitive I was until my eldest daughter was in fourth grade. Her elementary reading list began to include read aloud books such as Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Sounder. 

Being the conscientious homeschooling mother that I was, I was committed to read every book on the reading list. When I reached the point in Old Yeller where Travis shouts to his mother in a voice thick with tears, "We can't just shoot Old Yeller like he was nothin'," I lost it. I couldn't read any longer. My vision was blurred, my nose was running, and I had to stop to compose myself every third word.

I took to my bed for the rest of the afternoon and vowed never again to read another sad animal tale. If my daughters, now both graduated from homeschool high school, have a gap in their education, this is it -- they are poorly versed in sad animal stories.

Over the years, by watching me react, listening to me speak, and hearing my heart for helpless loyal animals, my girls have acquired a similar sensitivity to animal cruelty. They even watch out for me. "Mom, you can't watch that movie; The dog dies," they'll warn me.

"It was a good book," they'll say, "but the author didn't have to kill off the family pet."

One time my daughter even suggested I take an alternate route out of the neighborhood because of a roadside tragedy involving a furry creature.

They share my heart because they have watched me react and learned what I value.

Do you know what makes Jesus cry?

We read about it in John 11:35 and Luke 19:41.

In Luke 11:35, the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus witnesses the heartbroken tears of his dearest friends Mary and Martha at the tomb of their brother Lazarus. Knowing that He would soon raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus did not weep in sadness over his friend's death. Instead, he wept as he watched Mary, Martha, and their friends and relatives experience the intense sorrow and pain that comes from losing a loved one.

Jesus wept because He, as the Creator of the world, never intended for mankind to feel the sorrow of death. God created humanity to live forever, but sin entered man's heart and brought with it physical and spiritual death.

Sin and death make Jesus cry.

Luke 19:41 demonstrates what else makes Jesus cry. As He gazed over Jerusalem before his long walk to the cross, He lamented, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes."

Jesus wept for those who would reject Him and spend eternity separated from God.

The lost make Jesus cry.

Like my children have learned to value the things I value and weep over the things for which I weep, I must ask myself, do I weep over what my heavenly Father values? Do I cry over the things that make Jesus cry?

I will as I spend time with Him, listen to His voice, and learn to value the things He values. I will learn to weep when I learn to share His love for the lost, the sinful, and the dying.

Oh, may I learn to weep like Jesus weeps.

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  1. Wow - incredible post!!! I pray that we allow those things that break Jesus' heart to break mine as well!! I think I'll leave this post open and re-read it again later today. I am popping over from Bless a Blogger Friday (it's still Friday, right? Although on my side of the Great Pond it's already Saturday morning ). May God pour out His blessings on you this weekend. Blessings from Zagreb!

  2. This is great, Lori. I've been taught a number of different reasons for Jesus' tears in that verse, but not this one...and I think it's the right one.
    I can also identify with your homeschool "blubbering." One year the kids and I read Uncle Tom's Cabin together. I was constantly breaking down! But I think they may remember that book better than any other we read together.
    Thanks for sharing this!