I fell down and scraped my knee badly on rough asphalt. I was about four or five years old and I sat there rocking back and forth, hands over my knee with blood dripping through my fingers. I was crying out loud and had tears flowing down my face. That was the first time I heard someone tell me that boys shouldn’t cry. It was a neighbor kid who saw me fall. He said, “Cut it out, boys don’t cry.” I didn’t believe him at the moment because I knew I was a boy and I was definitely crying. It hurt.

It wasn’t until later that I understood what he meant; boys were supposed to be tough and not let anything hurt them. The idea that “boys don’t cry,” or that boys shouldn’t cry is a lie. Sometimes girls believe that lie too, thinking that they should be stronger than whatever is happening or have it together enough to be unscathed by life around them.

Crying is a natural response to the things of life that happen around us. Today, I know that and I cry freely at Hallmark commercials, seeing people I’m fond of getting awards or promotions, witnessing someone sacrifice for someone else, saying goodbye to friends or family, stubbing my toe, and remembering loss. Sometimes the tears come at joyful moments, sometimes in pain. Crying is what our bodies do sometimes and it is good for us. Emotions are a gift from God. They are one of the ways we are like him (made in his image).

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that at the launch of the Temple rebuild in Jerusalem, there was great joy and big tears.

“Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people,” Ezra 3:12-13.

Some of those tears may have been joyous, but weeping with a loud voice came from all the loss and all the change that the newly laid foundation of the Temple brought to heart and mind. As changes at EFCC bring memories and loss to your heart and mind, be real and honest before the Lord and with each other. It can be good to weep at what you miss as well as what you see before you.

John Riley
Jr. High Pastor

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