Jesus Wept

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By Richard Gazowsky

Last Sunday I was invited to go over to Sister Clara’s home after church.  (It is important that I tell this story in the following manner because to visit Sister Clara in her private quarters was always an honor for me.)  She was one of the first people to be saved at the church that I now pastor, the Voice of Pentecost in San Francisco, under my mother’s ministry back in the late 60’s when I was just eleven years old.  Of course at that time Sis. Clara was taller than I and I was taught at an early age to respect her much like I did my grandmother, Nana, who was Sister Clara’s mentor. As I grew up, both of these stately women watched over my crazy childhood.  As a matter of fact, just weeks ago, Sister Clara shared stories about seeing me playing radical imaginary games with my imaginary playmates.  One time she caught me sword-fighting in the church with a thousand enemy troops, and when a busybody saint tried to tell her I was crazy, she just laughed and said, “No, Richard has got a healthy imagination that the Lord is developing and will use one day.”  

A few years ago my mother and I visited Sis. Clara in the hospital and she asked me with a disgusted look on her face, “Why are you here?”  You have to know Sister Clara to understand her disgust, because she felt that the man of God shouldn’t be wasting his time dealing with her situation at that moment, but of course mother and I knew that it was important that we were there, and expressed to her that the Lord had told us to come.

This experience and other fond memories are examples of our interactions through the years.   I was now invited to Sister Clara’s home as her pastor because she was seriously ill.  When I had last visited her she was extremely well spirited and looked fantastic; you could not tell that her heart was fatigued and had run its course.  Knowing this to be the situation that Sister Clara was in, I knew that it was extremely vital that I visit her.

To visit Sister Clara’s home is, as mentioned, an extreme honor and privilege.  As her condition worsened she realized that it would be necessary for others to visit and for some to even take care of her. It was like watching an old retired general who had been used to the battlefield and serving his troops during the war, and who, now in his retirement, has discovered the necessity of letting others serve him (sometimes in the most menial of tasks.)

So it was with Sister Clara, this great warrior who had served others and blazed through the battles of life but was now finding it necessary in her waning days to become the recipient of that same servanthood.  When I finally arrived at her door Sister Rutha and Lynette met me and brought me to view the body of Sister Clara who had already passed from this life into the next.  When I walked through the bedroom door and saw the still-warm body of my elder sister, stately, beautiful and resting pleasantly, I realized that she was gone.  Instantly I wept.

The tears began flowing from my eyes like a river.  I can’t ever remember weeping like this.  It was just as if an uncontrollable wave had overwhelmed me.  I could not explain it; I had no definition, no interpretation, just pure emotion.  This emotional flow caused me, after days of contemplation, to read this scripture in John 11:35, where it says, “Jesus wept.”

The Greek word that is used for “wept” is the word “dakryo”, which means to shed tears.  I realized that at that moment Jesus was expressing emotions through His fleshly body.  He was also preparing for one of the greatest miracles that would happen in his ministry; the raising of his friend, Lazarus, from the dead.   Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. John the Apostle scripturally describes the details behind this profound miracle in Jesus’ ministry.  I believe the details are there to show us the extreme emotions you will be required to go through to see the glory of God manifested in your own personal life.

Don’t be afraid of emotional explosions and mitigating experiences that seem to put pressure upon you at what may appear to be the wrong place at the wrong time.  Remember that the Apostle James spoke about this dynamic as he wrote,

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father.  He loves to help.  You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought.  People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves.  Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”

I could not say it any better.

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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called A Place To Meet Jesus. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.” 


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This is a weekly email written by Richard Gazowsky, Pastor of A Place To Meet Jesus church in San Francisco. If you would like to opt-out from this weekly email, simply click on the SafeUnsubscribe link below.


Published by Gazowsky

Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called A Place to Meet Jesus. He has authored books,"Teach Me to Pray, I'm Falling Asleep" and "The Prophetic Whisper" as well as movie scripts. He currently feels the call of God to pray on the Periscope App everyday. Join him in prayer!

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