You have heard it said, “Weep with those who weep…” Romans 12:15.
Throughout the Bible, the writers of scriptures share their lament and grief. The writers of the Psalms end their lament passages with loose ends, not a tied-up bow of happy endings with a cliché of let go and let God. It seems that Jesus lives comfortably in mourning by even teaching, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.
Ian Morgan Cron shares a scene from Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me where the main character shares the depth of their story with a therapist named Dan.
Dan uncrossed his legs. “I want to sit quietly for a moment to honor the story you’ve just told. It was sacred.” He said taking a deep breath and closing his eyes.
Honor the story. It was a phrase that brought to consciousness something deep within me. It was like peering through the vision-test machine the optometrist uses, only I was not looking at an eye chart, but at my life. As he said those three words, a new lens clicked into place and things looked different, not better, just different somehow.
Ian Morgan Cron / Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me, Pg. 200
To honor a story of someone else means acknowledging the good and bad. It requires attempting to place yourself in their shoes.
Gavin Brown, a pastor in Baltimore, said this about the recent story of Ahmaud Arbery in a Facebook post:
We don’t have to look alike and understand each other to feel the tension and bear a burden. I’m longing for the day. Longing and looking forward to when God brings justice to the injustices of this world.
Until then, I will pray. I will choose to love. I will have hope. And I will kiss and hold my babies tighter tomorrow.
Gavin Brown, Facebook Post
Honoring a story is about empathy. Jesus gave up the riches of heaven to reside as a Jew in a Roman-occupied area. He suffered not just physical pain through the cross but knows the pain of rejection and marginalization. The good news of the gospel implores us to carry each other’s burdens in these moments because our Savior knows the mourning of Ahmaud Arbery’s death — not only does He know, but He lived it.
Today, let’s honor the stories of our black brothers and sisters. Let’s embody and live out the belief of every individual created in God’s image. The gospel of Jesus unites more than we would ever know at this moment. We are called to weep with those who weep.