I’ve heard this question a lot. Now that my grandson is nearly four, I find myself asking that question a lot.
It seems that the word “no” often signals the end of his world to him.
Hysterics often follow not being allowed to play in the street, eat a third dinner or play with dynamite.
Telling a kid “no” or any answer other than the one they are wanting to hear often meets with tearful wailing and temporary loss of sanity. The loss of sanity is usually mine.
Why you crying?
I’ve been asked that question and although I don’t recall many of my toddler temper tantrums, I do recall asking sarcastically, “Why do you think I’m crying? There’s a fish hook caught in my ear lobe!”
I think maybe sometimes it is good to ask myself why I am crying.
Yeah, I have some long and interesting conversations with myself. Mostly, I talk to myself a lot because I always get my jokes and think they are hilarious. But, in these question and answer periods, I often find that my emotions are getting the best of my reality.
John 20:11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
Why you crying?
Mary was really upset about the death of Jesus. He was the center of her world and that center was now gone.
I can picture her sniffling, eyes red from tears, her making that weird catching your breath sound as she tried to speak, “They took him and I don’t know where they put him!”
She may have had more to say if she realized that she was speaking to angels and not thought it was just two weird dudes that spent their spare time sitting in abandoned tombs.
But, she went back to crying more, maybe even wailing and throwing a real fit of hysterical proportion, or maybe she just sobbed, I don’t really know.
John 20:14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
Mary turned and saw the gardener.
How many times had God spoken to me and I dismissed him as something less than what he truly is? When I have one of those question and answer periods with myself about that, I give myself some shivers.
I’ve dismissed God a lot. I’ve demoted him to gardener, simpleton and mental patient. Seriously, I have taken the words God has spoken to me and put them into the context of nothing more than the guy with the John 3:16 sign that gets to go to all the football games. How does that guy afford to get into football games? I can’t afford one ticket every decade or so!
Why you crying?
Mary turned to Jesus and told him the answer she was seeking.
“Tell me where he is and I’ll go get him.”
Mary couldn’t have been more sincere, loving and willing. But she was wrong.
The answer she needed wasn’t to go get him, it was to go TO him.
John 20:16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
Why you crying, Mary?
There must have been something in the way he said it, something familiar, something that awoke something inside her that she had laid to rest.
When he spoke her name it all made sense and she completely forget about her plan to find out where he was so she could put him back inside that tomb.
When she heard her name, her spirit ran from the tomb, the death that had enveloped all she believed in lost its grip on her and the resurrecting power of Christ did a lot more than bring Jesus back to life, it brought all hope back to life.
Why you crying, Mike?
Hmm, I guess there are a lot of times I need to hear Jesus speak that to me. I remember hearing it when I was sitting in a Celebrate Recovery meeting waiting to tell God, “Nice try, buddy. Time for me to give up now.”
I heard my name and the answer that seemed so obviously right to me became absurd and the futility I felt was transformed miraculously to hope, my tears of sorrow became the water that moistened the hard soil of a dead heart and caused it to beat again.
Why you crying?
Maybe this a good day to lay aside the answer you want to hear and listen to something bigger than you hoped for. Maybe this is the time hope appears in the place of your desperation. Maybe this is the time your tears pave the way for some real joy.
Maybe this is a time to have a good long talk with yourself to remind yourself that these emotions don’t dictate your future.
Maybe this is the day you see the gardener for who he really is and hear truth.
That’s a lot of “maybe’s”. That is because, with God, there are more possibilities than we can ever imagine. When I start looking at all the amazing “maybe’s” that God can provide, hope snowballs and becomes bigger than all my worries.