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Cry With Me
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I attended the celebration of a good man’s life. I knew him only from short visits to his hospital room during his final days. The ravages of many years of Type I diabetes were taking their final toll: heart, lungs, kidneys, circulation. Eyesight had been taken years ago—but not his vision—not his internal sight.

I listened to stories at his memorial service of the tough-guy fighter in World War II; of his discovery of Christ through an invitation to Bible studies; and of his wholehearted devotion to his family and to God.

I’d already picked that up in our short encounters as he talked of the good days of his years as Pathfinder club leader and sharing with his wife the privilege of teaching the Junior Division at church. There’d be an occasional “lump” in his throat as he recalled the many joys of his 89 years.

He also recalled the trials of his illness, diabetes, and his excitement when Insulin first became available and offered a means to help control the blood sugars his body was not equipped to manage.

Sitting there at his memorial service, I heard about his delight in birding, his love for children and his faithfulness to wife, family and friends. He was an encourager, as many in the audience testified. Through it all was this story of a boundless love of God and life.

That’s why, when his son gave his eulogy and described his final moments with his dad, I found a lump in my own throat. They both knew death was imminent. They affirmed their love for each other and then this father said to his son, “Cry with me.” And they cried together.

Think of Tears as a Weakness

As I listened, I thought of how often we refuse to cry in front of each other. How often we think of tears as a weakness or a betrayal of our faith in God.

This wise father wanted to weep at the separation from his beloved family, even though for him it would be “just for a moment” of sleep in Christ until the resurrection. For his son the separation would be longer and he did not want his grown child to weep alone. They needed to share the grief.

“Cry with me.”  Wasn’t that Jesus’ plea of his disciples that night in the garden? Pray with me, cry with me, understand my pain of separation from you. Understand your own pain that is to come.

I’ve always been afraid of coming close to people in their final days; afraid of showing my weakness with tears or a shaky voice; afraid that if I can’t be strong and positive, I should stay away: afraid of seeing them cry. How very wrong of me!

“Cry with me.” What an invitation to total honesty—and what a gift of love!

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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