First Word, March 31st: Jesus Wept

By March 31, 2020First Word

My dear, we are all made of water.
It’s okay to rage, sometimes
To rest. To recede.
(Sanober Khan)

I see you doubt the part of you
that love the world so much
you wonder if you’ll ever
be able to show it.
I want to take your face in my hands & say, “You who love
The world so much?”
That’s what you are here to do.
(brian andreas)

—–

I am a deep feeler.

I cry watching movies, during particularly beautiful sunsets, at concerts (always), when I hear the first loon on the lake, when a friend shows me something they’re proud of– it could be anything. It’s a trait I used to be embarrassed by but have come to recognize the power in over the years. Some wise teachers have taught me that opening your heart to the world is an act of courage, not weakness.

With the uncertainty and pain in the world today, I have been F E E L I N G it all, and I know I’m not the only one. I have seen many friends reflecting on social media about the discomfort and pain they’re suddenly finding themselves in. This uncharted territory we’re navigating through will impact us all in different ways, but for many of us, it is an experience of grief.

We mourn for those who are losing loved ones, for those who are losing jobs, for those already vulnerable who find themselves even more on the margins today. We mourn the loss of experiences, the changing of plans, the loneliness we find ourselves in. These feelings of grief come from a heart of love, a heart that seeks to care for the world.

In our Gospel reading this week we heard the shortest verse in the Bible, which shows us Jesus’ heart; “Jesus wept.” (John 11: 35). Jesus mourns for a member of his community and weeps alongside those who mourn. In the time of this mourning, Jesus was being asked to perform a miracle.. to act. But he pauses, and allows himself to feel the fullness of his emotions.

There is much to do right now, and so many asks coming our way, but we can and should make space for ourselves to sit with our emotions and give ourselves grace. From our open hearts, we can offer love, patience, service and so much more. Maybe grief and discomfort doesn’t manifest with you in tears, but rather anger or disconnection or productivity. Jesus is with us through all these emotions; weeping, raging, retreating and one day, rejoicing, with us.

Love the world, that is what we are here to do.

——————

Kyle Lefler serves as the Associate Director at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp and has called Montana home for nearly six years. Kyle is passionate about working with young people in God’s Creation and striving to create intentional community spaces where they are unconditionally loved & accepted, empowered & advocated for. She loves early morning lake swims, handwritten letters & the Avett Brothers.

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