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Center for Action and Contemplation

Jesus Wept

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Poet Ann Weems (1934–2016) suffered tragedy firsthand when her twenty-one-year-old son was murdered. She poured her profound grief into writing her own versions of lament psalms. Here she takes heart from Jesus’ own weeping:

Jesus wept,

            and in his weeping,

                he joined himself forever

                to those who mourn. 

      He stands now throughout all time,  

            this Jesus weeping, 

                    with his arms about the weeping ones: 

      “Blessed are those who mourn,  

            for they shall be comforted.” 

          He stands with the mourners, 

                for his name is God-with-us. 

Jesus wept. 

          “Blessed are those who weep, for they shall be comforted.” Someday.  

     Someday God will wipe the tears from Rachel’s eyes. 

                   In the godforsaken, obscene quicksand of life,  

                   there is a deafening alleluia 

                   rising from the souls  

                   of those who weep, 

                   and of those who weep with those who weep. 

                   If you watch, you will see 

                   the hand of God 

                   putting the stars back in their skies 

                   one by one. 


Excerpted from Psalms of Lament. Copyright © 1995 Ann B. Weems. Used by permission of Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. 

Image credit: A path from one week to the next—McEl Chevrier, Untitled. CAC Margi Ahearn, Exercise on Grief and Lamentation. McEl Chevrier, Untitled. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image. 

On retreat, the CAC staff used watercolors to connect to our collective grief. This is one of the watercolor paintings that came from that exercise.  

Story from Our Community:

Since adding the Daily Meditations, CAC podcasts, and courses to my daily time with God, I have noticed a deepening connection to all things, people, and events in the world. I lament more; I speak up more; I write more; and I see into nature and people more. I have begun to let go of my own plans, and I am finding my way back to who God created me to be. I am not there yet, and I am scared, but each day, the fear becomes incrementally less as I allow things to just be and recognize that every part of the process belongs. —Susannah P. 

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The Prophetic Path

It can be easier to turn away from suffering than face it with an open heart. That’s why our 2023 Daily Meditations theme, The Prophetic Path, empowers us to not avoid or fear the pain of the world, but turn toward it with compassion.

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