“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” John 19.26–27
Crying always makes me see differently. Clear figures in front of me become blobs; my eyes become irritated as I rub them. Perhaps an eyelash sticks to the lens? Distorted, irritated, and blocked, crying changes how I see things.
Saint Romero – one whose story I became acquainted with as I traveled to El Salvador and worked with the Iglesia Evangélica Metodista en El Salvador – once said, “There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”
We cry because we are experiencing something significant. This experience that has caused us to cry changes us as a person; we will never be the same.
I can’t help but to recall a portion of the Good Friday lectionary text when I hear this Romero quote. While not directly mentioned by the Gospel writers, I can’t imagine what Mary faced as she saw her son crucified before her. Indeed, she was crying. So too were those around her. What was before them was distorted: Christ crucified. But the future was also distorted through their tears. Only through the tears of their mourning would they be able to see the resurrected Christ a few days later.
When have your tears distorted what you have seen? How has your crying changed how you view what is to come? Perhaps, sometimes, our tears clear our eyes of blockage so we can come to see something as brilliant as the resurrected Christ? Indeed, “There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”
A Prayer adapted from St Oscar Romero:
If my person is repulsive to some,
who would therefore silence my voice,
let them not look at me,
but to you who bids me tell them: Love one another!
It is not me they hear,
but you, Lord, you are who Love
and who wants to make us his own
by the sign of your love. Amen.
From the NC Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Immigration Alliance
To become educated this week:
Inform your legislators and local public officials about the practical problems families are facing.
To cultivate growth this week:
Host a listening session/forums and invite affected community members to share their stories.
To advocate this week:
Advocate with elected leaders for immigration reform that creates a legal pathway for our immigrant neighbors.
Miles Hunt is a lay member of the NC Conference Delegation and is a Certified Candidate for Ordained Ministry as an Elder. He attends Saint Andrews UMC in Garner.