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Wiping Away the Tears of Others

Today’s Reflection

THE RISEN CHRIST, who meets us in our tears, calls us to embody his presence in a deeply wounded world. He calls us always to follow him to those places where people are struggling and in need and to share in his ministry of wiping away their tears. One way to accomplish this task is to weep with those who weep.

How, you may be wondering, can we do this? The answer is simple but not easy to implement. We begin by learning from Jesus. What would Jesus do if he were in our place?

We watch him take the initiative and reach out to Mary in her tears. We listen as he asks her to put her weeping into words. We observe as he listens without judgment or condemnation to the story she shares.

Then, in dependence on his Spirit, we learn how to follow in his footsteps as we meet and interact with those who suffer in our midst: how to take the first step in getting closer to others in their pain, how to ask those questions that will help them to discover the voice of their tears, how to listen with respectful attention to what they say. As we go about learning these ways of weeping with those who weep, we participate in the resurrection practice of wiping away the tears of others.

– Trevor Hudson
Hope Beyond Your Tears

From pages 33-35 of Hope Beyond Your Tears: Experiencing Christ’s Healing Love by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2012 by Trevor Hudson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you know someone who is struggling? How can you engage in the ministry of wiping away their tears? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14, NRSV

This Week: those who struggle with worry. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Harriet Tubman (March 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller March 11, 2016, 4:13 am

    Thankful for this reflection following yesterday’s posts. It helps us help others.
    Grateful to talk with Jenny on her 40th birthday, to hear from Erich, to visit the townhouse and get started on plans to sell it. Seeing the progress Anneliese is making with her new hip. Thankful for Rusty’s prayer. Thank You, Lord.

    Lou, you are lifted up by the One who keeps us from falling. The Lord is with you. Prayers for those who worry. May they come to know Jesus and have their worries resolved. Prayers for those who teach, for the noise of learning, and for peace among students, teachers, and staff. Prayers for God’s wisdom in the decision making of an election year. Lord, in Your name I pray.
    Amen.

  • Jill March 11, 2016, 4:17 am

    Trevor Hudson offers much wisdom in what he says in the reflection – and there is also wisdom in what he doesn’t say. A significant omission – hopefully purposeful – is…and the person doesn’t try to fix the situation. Yes – we try to listen, yes – it is helpful to voice questions that will help the person to discover the voice of their tears. A tearful person – in my experience – just needs one to intently listen, to join them in their pool of tears – but don’t try to fix/save/help to escape. Mere presence.
    Father – thank You for those who have just sat with me. And, You – Father – You are the Ultimate Listener, the True Presence.
    Father – walk with us through today and lead us into the weekend – and opportunity to gather with other likeminded people, to praise You.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 11, 2016, 5:40 am

    Thank you Father a God for strength for a Long day with combined classes of different levels.

    Help us to weep with those who weep. Grant us the compassion of Christ. We uplift Lou in prayer. Lord, may your presence be so close to her to comfort and strengthen her. Thank you for Anneliese’s progress and enabling Robert to be the caregiver.

    Bless the UR family and may all have a great weekend!

  • Betsy March 11, 2016, 5:42 am

    Good point to bring up, Jill. Our job many times is to be present and listen. God shows up in those times. He alone knows the strain and wants of our hearts. Help me today to be a listener.
    Thankful for a weekend with all my sisters as we go to visit my niece and the first grandchild in our family. May our time together be loving and supportive as we welcome this new addition to the family.
    Blessings on all the UR family this day.

  • Andrea March 11, 2016, 6:55 am

    A beautiful reading. I am thankful for those who have walked with me through a difficult time. I pray for Lou to be comforted, guided, supported and encouraged through as she goes through difficult. I pray in thanksgiving for Anneliese’s good progress post-surgery and for the birth of Betsy’s grand niece. I pray for my friend Ramona, who has multiple health issues and chronic pain. Blessings on all in the UR community today, and wishing all a blessed weekend.

  • Carol March 11, 2016, 7:48 am

    This week I have unexpectedly been walking beside an 89 yr old newly widowed lady and her daughter. Last Sunday, it became convincingly evident that it was no longer predictably safe for her to remain in her 60+yr home. I went to lunch with them, visited a retirement center with them to begin looking for options. Later that evening, I listened to the daughter by phone when I called to check on how she was doing. Twice this week, I have stopped in to visit with the elderly lady and listened to her. We found that this could be a time of enjoyment in small ways, as she considers what she would most like to take with her to her new home. Thankfully, she has 3 caring supportive children. I am thankful for the rather new friendship that has been developing over the last 6 months with the daughter.

  • Connie March 11, 2016, 8:20 am

    “Put my tears in your bottle” Psalm 56
    A favorite verse. Lord, show us how to comfort others and help dry their tears. Amen

  • Sara March 11, 2016, 10:50 am

    Enjoying beautiful weather and doing some outside work. To accommodate schedules a belated birthday dinner for me with our son and grandchildren last evening.

    When I’m hurting a listening ear and support is consoling. The situation may move forward or remain the same, but the fact someone cares makes a burden less heavy. Continued prayers for Lou and family and may God’s blessing be upon you and your family.

    God’s blessings today to the UR family.

  • Rusty March 11, 2016, 11:09 am

    Wonderful reading and wonderful comments. So many thoughts coursing through my mind right now. Rusty, choose one.

    Oh, that I might have read these before men’s early morning Friday bible study today, but Gid, are gracious and kind. I think I did okay. Jill, thank you for stating the key point – that we listen and not “fix”. I have been doing a 31 day praising God study with a young man in the men’s group. Well, he is young-ish — just turned 40, but is childlike in so many ways. I felt strongly moved to reach out to him because he struggles so much, and it appears (gracious God, please forgive me and guide me) he is so focused on himself all the time he is constantly stumbling. My thought (please, Lord, let it have come from you) in doing this month of short praise studies and then following up with trading short text messages about each daily reading. My hope and belief was that this might ease his constant self consciousness and enable him to simply rest in God’s peaceful and loving embrace. Well, 11 days in, he has missed many days and his comments have mostly been profuse apologies to me. Today, I asked him to sit with me for ten minutes to just talk together. Again, profuse apologies – to which I attempted (Lord, please, for your glory) to persuade him I preferred that he not apologize to me, but consider me a partner with him, recognizing that our focus together was and is God. We then had a medium length discussion about how he described himself as _____ and also____, but then he thought, really, ____. Through all of this I attempted to guide him through hopefully gentle questions back to focusing on God (to which he would say, “Oh, of course, God”).

    Lord, I now see that his is hurting. Please guide me, Holy Spirit, in just listening next time thins young man and I meet. Keep me from being impatient with him, and help me to allow to to do your work (through me, if that be your will), and keep me, Fayher from trying to fix whatever this beloved child of yours is fighting. Amen.

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