Jesus Wept

Yesterday when I went to bed, I did not want to write a blog post today. I knew that I should, and I knew that I was probably going to, but that didn’t increase my desire. When I got up this morning though, I had new energy. I knew what I wanted to talk about. It was the words that my mother has said at least a hundred times:

“You just need to keep moving forward.”

I went over to my brother’s apartment at around eleven, only to stay there until after three. My prospects of actually getting this blog post finished for my goal was waning. I still wasn’t sure what I actually wanted to say.

Awhile after I had returned home, my pocket buzzed. It was Mom asking who had died. I had gotten a notification saying that Barbara Sinatra (the wife of Frank Sinatra) had died. I assumed that it was that. Mom said no and informed me that a boy in my graduating class had just passed away. It took me some time to find out who it was.  I was in a slight panic. I have never had anyone I was extremely close to pass away before. With a graduating class of less than five hundred, most everyone knows everyone. The panic dissipated when I found out. He was someone I had classes with, but had never really talked to. Yet it was quickly replaced with the sick misery that is all too familiar for my school. Last October we lost a teacher and a student within days of each other. If there is one thing I have found living in a small town, it is that if something like this doesn’t directly affect you, it does to your friends.

I have tried to keep religion mostly out of my blog, in order to make it as relatable as possible. It is impossible for me to express my thoughts even at mediocre manner without incorporating my personal religious beliefs.

I remember when I was about thirteen years old, one of my church youth group leaders telling us about how she had gotten through a difficult time. Her parents divorced. It was incredibly difficult for her, but she was married and had a young daughter. She continued to keep a schedule with her daughter, making sure her needs were met. She told us that her therapist attributed her not going into deep depression to this. That was a story that has always stuck with me. It has something to do with knowing you are part of something bigger than yourself.

When I heard of my classmate’s passing, I thought that it might not be the right time to talk about moving forward. When there are family and friends grieved, who are you to tell them to get over losing a precious soul. Then I thought of the famously short scripture found at John  11:35 :

“Jesus wept.”

I came to realize that in this scripture lies the key. This is the story where Christ raises Lazarus from the dead. There isn’t necessarily a reason why he should be sad. Christ knows that in a few short minutes, Lazarus will be up and about. Yet when Martha takes him to where Mary and other Jews are weeping, he weeps along side with them. Christ shows that even when He knows that we will rise again, He also knows that it is difficult now. It is okay to take the moment to be sorrowful. What is important is that we do not allow for the sorrow to take over us and stop us from progressing. After Jesus wept, he raised Lazarus. After the Pharisees heard and decided they wanted to kill Jesus, He went to Ephraim and “there continued with his disciples”.

We may not get our brother back, we may not get our friend right now. But the fact that there is life after death, the fact that the sun will raise to see another morning should give us the comfort to weep and there continue.

There will always be those who will be there to help. There will always be those who love you. Though there may not be the chance to go back, there is always the opportunity to move forward. My thoughts and prayers are with my classmate’s dear family and friends. To feel pain is to be alive.

~Ali