Cry? Yes!

Nancy Hatcher, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | March 11, 2024

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

I forced my legs to walk to the front of the classroom. I turned and placed my index cards in a row as my sweaty hands gripped the smooth podium. My lips quivered as the tears began to flow. 

Finally, a sympathetic classmate said, “Professor, please let her sit down.” And at that, I brushed the tears from my eyes and began the first speech of my life titled: Why Crying is Good for Us.

How in the world did I ever pull that off? It was a gutsy move. But if someone is going to cry in a happy or sad movie, it will be me. The weekend before I gave that speech, my mom called the dorm and told me that my little sister’s boyfriend had tragically died in his sleep. So, I carried my lament into the speech and was able to cry in front of everyone.

Did you know that, according to researchers, acoustical crying is an attachment behavior that serves to maintain the proximity of the parent (crying as the “acoustical umbilical cord”) and to solicit care and assistance, which is particularly important for helpless human infants?

Do you ever feel helpless? If Jesus understands all of our feelings, do you think he could have felt that way when his disciples abandoned him and betrayed him in the Garden that horrible night? Quite possibly. Did he reach out in anguish to his Heavenly Father? Yes. Did he ask for God to take this physical and emotional pain away? Yes (Luke 22:41-44).

We need to do the same when we grieve, even while we hope to see Jesus and our loved ones in heaven. In the Bible, it’s obvious that we should cry tears, ask God angry questions, or groan when we don’t have words. 

The other day, I was really struggling.  A friend of mine who has come through a tough season called me and said, “Nancy, when those feelings happen, I just close my eyes and picture myself sitting right on Jesus’ giant lap with his arms around me—He will soothe and bring peace.” 

It’s healthy to cry. God gave us this way for a reason, and in the words of football great Rosey Grier, Crying gets the sad out of you.”

Next Steps

Right now, some of you are thinking, I can’t wait to be in heaven with Jesus and [insert name]. Does this person know Jesus? Don’t give up on praying, inviting them to church, and telling them how you love Jesus and that they should, too.