“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15……………..
I barely knew him. I had met him once a year or so before. For about 10 minutes. Our conversation was strictly business. Then in recent weeks we had talked on the phone. About three times. Super short conversations. All business. He had agreed to help me with something. Kindly. Graciously. Generously. I said please. I said thank you. I shared briefly about my ministry work. Our conversations never went farther than that. Until the day I called him for an update about what he was helping me with. That’s when he told me he hadn’t been able to help me as he had hoped to do in recent days. And he told me why.
In case you think I’m going to share his personal story with you, I’m not. What I will say is when he opened his heart and told me what he had been through and was going through, I started crying. And listened. And told him I would pray. And asked friends to pray. And he was loved. And cared for. And prayed for. I went on with my day, and life, after I spoke with him that day. After I had wiped away the tears I cried for the man I barely knew.
Now if you know my story, you’ll know this. I was far too broken for decades to even consider crying for anyone else, and not only was I far too broken, but I was far too selfish and self-centered, self-consumed and focused almost exclusively on my life, on my problems, on my wanting to feel better, etc.
The Lord has given me a new heart. His. His Spirit living inside me. And I live by His commands now to love Him with all my heart and to love others in His name for His glory (Mt. 22:37-40). That’s why I can cry for other people now. Because my highest priority in life is the Lord and His Word, and my second highest priority is others. Loving them for Him. Loving them through Him. Loving them for Him. Loving them so they can see Him, and be drawn to Him by His Spirit through my little life and little heart.
There is no more beautiful way to live than for Christ, and for others. And when we obey Him with these which are His greatest commands, the blessings we receive are immeasurable. The blessings of knowing Him intimately and being in His fellowship submitted to His lordship forever and the blessing of loving others whether they are our loved ones we hold near and dear to our hearts or whether they are total strangers with whom by God’s grace we have crossed paths.
Laugh with others, friend. Cry with others, friend. Most of all, love them with Christ’s love and help lead them to Him.