Pause

Take a breath. Open your senses so they can feel the light that surrounds you.

Take a breath… and enjoy the life around you.

Sometimes it is difficult to see the sun over the clouds. But the sun is always there.

Sometimes it is difficult to feel the presence of the Triune God, but God is always there.

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Listen

When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”

When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. He asked, “Where have you laid him?”

They replied, “Lord, come and see.”

Jesus began to cry. The Jews said, “See how much he loved him!” But some of them said, “He healed the eyes of the man born blind. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

John 11:32-37

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Think

Crying alone is not the same as having a shoulder to cry on. I remember crying in frustration after a bad day at school. I did the classic move of going to my bedroom, shutting the door, and crashing onto my bed. I started to bawl… and then it started to rain. To many, this would have made no difference. But to a church kid, it was the difference between crying alone and feeling like God understood. God was crying with me.

Jesus is deeply troubled when Mary appears on the scene. He sees her suffering and pain. Her sorrow pierces his heart. The other people there are also crying. And Jesus begins to cry.

In some Bible translations, this shortest verse is stated very matter-of-factly: Jesus wept. But in this translation, Jesus’ crying seems like the consequence of everything that’s going on around him. Jesus began to cry because he saw Mary and the crowd crying. Jesus’ crying is a beautiful reminder that we are not alone in our tears: Jesus understands and feels and cries with us.

Marissa Galván-Valle

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Pray

God, you have sent Jesus to be a shoulder to cry on, to be the one that understands my suffering, my sense of loss, my deepest pain. Thank you for not leaving me alone, for sending the one who cries with us, the one who helps me find peace, the one who embraces and comforts me. In his name I pray, amen.

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Go

Breathe in!

Breathe in the life and hope that only God provides.

Breathe in so that you can go and give this hope of life to others, in everything you do and everything you say.

Marissa Galván-Valle

Marissa Galván-Valle is a Presbyterian Minister who is the Associate for Resources and Relationships with the Hispanic/Latino Constituency of the PCUSA and works to produce and promote Spanish language resources curriculum resources for the PCUSA. She is also a part-time pastor of Beechmont Presbyterian Church, an intercultural church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Mark Hayes

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