Weekly Word

I spend every Friday with my grandson. Camden, almost 20 months old now, is beginning to use words. I am “Bapa”. Felicia is “Gigi”. “Yum Yum” is lunch. “No bye” means, I pretty much know your opinion, see ya.

His vocabulary is expanding, but Cam has been communicating quite well for some time. If he wants you in a certain place, he simply takes hold of your finger and takes you there. If he pats his hand on a chair or on the floor next to him, then it is clear that he wants you to sit down. If he is amused, he throws his head back and laughs with his whole body.

But sometimes, words fail or are hard to come by. Sometimes, Cam just needs to cry. Those tears almost always lead to some cuddling and some gentle strokes to his forehead, as tender words of comfort are whispered in his ear.

Sometimes, Cam just needs to cry. Sometimes, we all need to cry. Sometimes the only response that makes sense is found in salty tears running down our cheeks. Hopefully, someone is there to cuddle us, to gently stroke our forehead, and to whisper tender words of comfort.

To be human is to cry. Computers don’t cry. Witches don’t cry. Jesus wept, and we can’t help but weep. We weep with families in Florida who bury their hopes and dreams as they bury their children. We weep with refugees and those caught in civil or ethnic wars that seem never to end.

We stand at graveside, weeping with new widows and widowers. We weep because we are afraid of dying or afraid of living. We weep because there are no words that will take the place of those salty tears running down our checks.

Billy Graham was 99 years old when he died last week. In an interview the great preacher was asked what surprised him the most about the journey of life and he said, “its brevity.” Coming to grips with our own mortality is sobering to say the least.

I find myself crying more easily these days. Perhaps it is the cumulative grief of a thousand gravesides, perhaps it is the reality that the days are short, and it is the Autumn of the year. Tears come more unexpectedly, tears of joy and tears of sorrow.

I spend every Friday with my Grandson. Cam cannot take care of himself, and he does not like to be alone. May we more fully understand our humanity, the truth is, we cannot take care of ourselves, and God did not create us to be alone.

“But Esau ran to meet his brother Jacob and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him, and they wept.” Genesis 33:4

So, let us dry each other’s tears, hold each other close, and whisper words of comfort. Life is too short to do anything else.

My love to you,

Pastor Jim