I‘ve been reading the book of Genesis as 2019 unfolds. Rich Nathan, senior pastor of Columbus Vineyard, in Columbus, OH, recently noticed something quite interesting about Joseph from the book of Genesis:
8x in 9 chapters we read of Joseph weeping. He cries tears of pain as he is reminded of his brothers’ treatment of him. He cries tears of joy when he is reunited with his brothers and his father. He cries tears of grief at his father’s death. Godly men cry!
— Rich Nathan (@RichNathan) January 17, 2019
Well of course men cry, or at least they should. I grew up in out near the Colorado border with “tough” boys who didn’t cry. Well, we weren’t supposed to cry because that might show others you’re weak. If their sons cried, a dad was known occasionally to say, “You dry up those tears or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
My dad was a good man, empathetic and soft-hearted, but I never saw him cry until he and my mom were here in Urbana, IL, one fall day in about 1995 when my kids, Ian and Maddie, were out on the soccer field. Ian would have been about 9 and Maddie about 6.
Dad would have been 66 or 67 years old. He was newly retired and he and mom had come to visit for a few days. On the last day of their visit, they attended one of Ian’s park district soccer games and then left for home right after the game, leaving from the soccer field.
I coached the park district team and following the match the boys were gathered in a circle eating granola bars and drinking from the straws they had inserted into their juice boxes. My dad and mom were standing around the circle along with several of the parents. Dad walked up to me, slapped me on the shoulder and told me they were about to leave. He then pushed his way into the circle of boys, hugged Ian and tried to say, “Grammie and I are talking off, Ian. You be a good boy old buddy.”
But he couldn’t get the words out, as he stood there with his arm around Ian’s shoulder. When he started to say, “You be a good boy old buddy,” he got all choked up and tears filled his eyes.
I could tell he was embarrassed. He then just gave Ian a quick kiss on the cheek, hugged daughter Maddie who was standing next to Ian and then both dad and mom headed to their car. When they were near their car, I yelled toward them, saying, “Thanks for coming, Dad and Mom. Have a good trip.”
Dad was wearing a Kansas State University Wildcat hat. He turned back toward me, smiled and waved, not saying a word.
Rich Nathan is absolutely right. Godly men cry. Sometimes having a good cry is the healthiest, most normal thing a man can do.