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"Jesus wept....."

 Monday, June 27, 2016

 John 11:35, the shortest verse in the bible, reads, “Jesus wept.” In context, Jesus is weeping because he has come to the home of Lazarus, finds out he has died, sees Mary and Martha despairing over the loss of their brother, and sees Lazarus’ dead body for himself. In this moment, Jesus isn’t numb to the hurt surrounding him; He feels emotional pain and deep sadness.

“Jesus wept.”

This striking statement, just two words, reveals so much about the humanity of Jesus.

Last week, while feeling a bit helpless and at a loss for a situation that is beyond my control, I did what I always do. I grabbed my bible..closed my eyes..and let the page flip through my fingers until it stopped on a page. With my eyes still closed tight...I laid my finder down on an unknown part of the page. Before opening my eyes, I prayed. I prayed over the verse that I was about to read...whatever it may be. I prayed that it would speak to my heart in a way that calmed me. When I opened my eyes....there it was. 

"Jesus wept"

I had always heard the story of Lazarus...but I never read deep into the story as a whole. I started at the beginning and read. I let it speak to my heart. There is so much more to this story that I didn't realize.

"Jesus wept"
Throughout the Bible, Jesus is revealed to be both fully man and fully divine, but a lot of times I tend to forget that being fully human means that Jesus felt real pain in His life, just like we do.
His humanness ensured that He was not immune to pain, anxiety, stress, anger, or heartbreak. He felt every emotion that we do, which I find to be very comforting. 

"Jesus wept."

When I saw this, my heart felt so much lighter; I realized, or rather, was reminded, that Jesus literally knows exactly how I’m feeling.

So often in my prayer, I tend to focus on the power and greatness and success of Jesus. These images of Him are great for examples of how we can strive to live our lives and give us inspiration to revel in His glory and saving power, but sometimes, we just need to be reminded that someone else feels our pain. We need to feel hope from someone who has felt as low as we do and has risen to joy.

Jesus weeping is a powerful image. You don’t weep because you’re having a bad hair day, your coffee spilled, or because your wifi isn’t working. Weeping doesn’t come from getting our feelings hurt or even when we suffer a physical injury. Weeping is a pretty rare, significant action in our lives, reserved for the times when simple crying just won’t suffice. We weep when we experience heart-breaking, passionate, emotional pain.....Jesus felt just that. His divineness didn’t take away His human tendency to feel hurt and despair, so He knows exactly how we feel.

"Jesus wept."

We’re not alone in our struggles or our triumphs. Reflecting on the humanity of Jesus and His emotions has helped me to see that my emotions are not only natural.....they are beautiful.....necessary, and even shared with Jesus. 

I closed my bible and I wept. I prayed. And then I wiped my tears away and smiled. 

My prayer had been answered. 

"Jesus wept." 




 Thursday, June 23, 2016

[Adjective / Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /non-puh-rel/]

  • Definition: Something, anything, that has no equal, that is unique in its kind.
 "You. Me. Everything we do, like singing in the rain. Or if you’re like me (a terrible singer): smiling in the rain....Because nothing compares to taking a walk in the rain, making it a nonpareil experience."

I am a words person. I love them. There is nothing better to me than being able to express exactly how I am feeling or thinking through the perfect set of words, phrases, quotes...whatever it may be....I love them. I constantly am looking for new words to use. I believe it opens our mind and makes us think beyond just our casual and usual just makes you sound intelligent.

 The weather lately has been rather hot here lately, after all, this is Alabama. With temperatures hitting triple digits on the regular on any given summer day. Sun beaming down...humidity sucking the life out of you as sweat trickles down your back and every little crevice on your body. But then....just when you thought you can't stand the heat any longer....a summer thunderstorm pops up. The breeze starts to blow...the rain cools the scorching asphalt down....the smell of the rain hits your nose...and as quickly as it ends...and the humidity is worse than before.

This is Alabama.

A couple weeks ago, on a rainy day....Bailey and I were stuck inside at home. We couldn't go outside to play and were both tired of sitting in the house. I looked out the window and it was coming thunder...just rain. I had some errands I needed to run and really didn't feel like getting out in the rain....but when her sweet little voice said "Mommy, can we go get some ice cream?"  I couldn't say no.

So I threw on my rain jacket and she grabbed her rain boots.....and out the front door we went.

First stop on list was Wal-Mart. I needed to pick up some things and she of course wanted to look at the toys. We stepped outside of the car and ran as fast as possible to the front entrance....she giggled the whole time. She said "Mommy, lets play in the rain!" I explained to her that we couldn't play in the rain right now...and in the middle of the walmart parking lot certainly was not the place. She got a bit of a disappointed look but it quickly disappeared when I mentioned a small toy...and maybe some chocolate. After all.....she is my child.

We did our shopping and toy looking....and an hour later, we were finally ready to leave. As her and I were walking towards the door, she asked me "Mommy, can we play in the rain?.....Please". By this time we had reached the front entrance and I was putting our rain jackets on....and I stopped and looked down at her tiny hand holding mine, her big green hopeful eyes and that smile on her face.....I looked to the right of me and their was a little old lady watching us with a smile on her face.

She looked at me and said "Teach them to dance in the rain when they are little and they won't forget when they are adults."

I looked back outside...back down to Bailey....and told her "Absolutely."

We walked slowly back to the car....rain still pouring down. I listened to her giggles all the way to the car.....and couldn't hold back my own smile. The rain felt much needed. It filled me with an energy that I had not had in a while. She helped me put out groceries in the car and put the buggy up....and then ran back to the sidewalk at the front entrance of walmart.

We found a huge puddle of water and jumped in it...ran around...looked up at the sky and tried to catch the raindrops in our mouth. we played for a good 10 minutes. We were soaked from head to toe.

I forgot my feet were wet and really enjoyed the sound of the rain hitting my covered up head. A smile had spread over my face and I couldn’t get it off, no matter how hard I tried or how strange the looks people were throwing at us. Playing in the rain is truly a nonpareil experience, as I felt so at peace with myself, so full of life and watching my daughter with not a care in the world...just dancing in the rain.

During our play session, I saw people running to and from their cars, covering their heads and shrieking as if they were melting. The world around me seemed in distress over the wet weather, whereas I was enjoying myself to the fullest. The air was clear and fresh, and there weren’t many people about which I thought was just fine.

My feet were wet, my clothes plastered to my forehead.....but I didn’t mind. The exterior of my 10 dollar walmart raincoat was in dire need of some dry surroundings, but I didn’t mind. Baileys clothes were soaked... but she didn’t mind. In that moment, nothing else mattered.....Because if I had been blessed with a good singing voice I would have been standing in the front of wal-mart, singing in the rain.

Her and I walked to my car and got my wallet out...went back into the store and bought a towel. The cashier told us that she was so sorry we had gotten caught in the rain....and I responded by saying "We didn't get caught in the rain....we had been blessed by the rain".....and we left. 

We did not get ice cream that day.....but I think I gave my daughter something better than ice cream. And she gave me a new perspective.

 I have thought back on this experience often over the last few days....

Life is not always about doing what others do. Life is not always about complaining about bad weather and hiding from it. Life is about accepting what comes onto your path and swinging bad situations around, turning them into an enjoyable experience.

Sure, having rain for days doesn’t do much for your mood. But neither does sitting inside all day long. The rain won’t stop until it stops, there’s no button to press or remote control to grab hold of. You simply have to sit it out.

Don’t let negative external factors throw you off your personal high. Keep going, keep your head up, and learn to enjoy yourself through every situation. Because that’s what makes you truly nonpareil; seeing the good in every apparent bad.

I just keep having to remind myself to dance in the rain every chance I get....even on the bad days....even on the days where I feel like the rain will never stop....even on the days where I feel like I can find no peace.

Those are the days that we will look back at. Those are days where lessons are learned. Those are the days that we have a nonpareil experience..... :)


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