And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. Genesis 42:22-24
There are a few possible reasons why Joseph turned away from his brothers to weep. He heard them discuss their sins against him. That had to be extremely painful. He also loved them and was grieved over the testing he was about to inflict upon them. Tears were complicated.
Jesus asked Mary, “Why are you crying?” At that particular time, she knew the answer but oftentimes, we don’t. I know that I’ve used all these clichés. “I just need a good cry.” “I don’t know why I’m crying.” And, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
How much weeping is done without knowledge of what’s buried down deep? A lot. We really don’t know ourselves as God knows us. I often ask Him, “Why am I so upset by this? Show me, please.” I have a Father who not only sees every tear but could speak at length on what each one means. When emotions swirl in my head and form nothing but fog, Abba can sort it all out.
Is there anything more painful than to be ridiculed for crying as a child? “There she is – crying again.” Some adults believe tears are unwarranted. No wonder some children are trained very young to hide their tears and stuff their grief into the dark places of their souls. There, tears stagnate, accumulate, and turn us into stoics.
When betrayals are as personal and as complicated as Joseph’s, tears will be plentiful. For any of us today who can’t find an end to our weeping and can’t seem to find a resolution, our spiritual Counselor promises to walk with us through the messiness of our emotions, through the confusion and fear, to shine the light of His glory on every single thing that needs definition. I never have to wonder if there will be peace at the end of the process. Peace is a person.
I am Yours, and You are mine. You are peace and all I need is in You. Amen