Sometimes, there’s a story that has always just hit you. It broke you in half and caused tears to overflow from you, even as a small child. You always thought it was just because you cared so much. You’ve always cared.
Sometimes, you remember that story when you’re grown. It comes up in conversation somehow, and the longer you spend thinking about it, the further you retreat into yourself; the deeper your sadness sinks into your stomach. You know more about yourself and your past now. And something in you wonders if you know why that story cut you so deeply all those years ago. You’ve been avoiding it for maybe a decade because you just couldn’t handle the way it made you feel.
But sometimes… sometimes, you need to know if you’ve discovered why it hurt.
You find the story again. You give your attention to it again. And immediately, you sob. You sob for the entire duration of the story, because you know.
You know what that story feels like because it is yours.
You didn’t know it was your story when you were a child. But you see it now. And the tears sting hot as they trail off your face because you wish it had been different. You wish you didn’t understand that story as intimately as you do, that it didn’t make you feel so much in the lowest depths of you… that it didn’t even exist. But you do, and it does. And now you wonder what you can do from here.
You see what happens in the story. You hope you don’t have to do the same thing. You hope for more. But you wonder if you can’t have hopes that high. You wonder if it doesn’t have the happiest ending because sometimes even good endings carry a bit of an ache with them.
You see that even when you didn’t know, Jesus knew. He was showing you, at only a few years old, that He knew you and that you were not alone. He was with you.
You remember that before He raised Lazarus back to life, Jesus wept, too. Some of the people who saw Him responded: “If He cared so much, why didn’t He prevent it from happening?” But others?
“He feels this, too. He knows what it’s like. He cares. We’re not alone in the heartache.”
You want with all you have to respond like the second group did.
And you want to believe that there’s more to the story than what you know right now.
Sometimes… sometimes, avoiding the hurt is avoiding a chance to heal. So you sob, you ache, you mourn, and you trust. Because He’s made it His story, too.