How weird it must have been to watch him start to weep. At the seeming height of his career, celebrated by people hankering to get close to him, he starts to weep. It must have seemed strange, surreal. Tears of joy? I might have wondered. Or perhaps he was an old soul, like an elderly man enjoying a festive family gathering, remembering sweet past times with those long gone. But this was different. He was not a grandfather. He was closer to the Homecoming King or President elect. His were not gentle tears spilling from reflective, watery eyes. Rather, with hawk-like clarity he was looking ahead, through the crowds, seeing something.
I cannot help but wonder what it was like for those in the path of Jesus' triumphal entry from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem--flinging colorful cloaks down before him as he made his way to his beloved city, now within eyeshot. To be in that moveable party, that quasi-religious-political parade with the candidate on the move...and to look up and see him, to see Jesus, weeping? To hear him speak, once again obscurely, of the things that make for peace now being hidden from sight? To watch him gaze into some mysterious distance, speaking of children dashed to the ground and stones tumbling, all because we could not see the "time of God's coming"?
There is much they missed, but I know there is so much we cannot see either. So much dances (and wars) before all of our eyes. I was talking to my brother yesterday about Russia's recent, quasi-conscription--just for a few days, come on!--of Beirut's airport. I was reading today's Washington Post about a Londoner, with a house arrest ankle bracelet, who says he envisions a black flag of the Islamic State flown over the White House. Closer to home (though, um, the White House is fairly close to home), there are the events of Mizzou and Yale, or one dear African American friend's recent articulation that she lives with two interior tracks: one, as a peacemaker for Jesus Christ and his kingdom purposes; another as an angry black woman with wounds upon wounds to her soul. The flood of input can be blinding.
Oops, this doesn't sound like a Thanksgiving blog.
But actually, I am so grateful. So grateful that in the swirling kaleidoscope of global, local, and often painful data, Jesus Christ sees beneath the surface of the good and bad alike, to what IS and what WILL BE. Amazing. So grateful that Jesus Christ is not a stoic machine but one who in his seeing, weeps with responsive empathy while riding on for the Joy set before him. Phenomenal. And I am so grateful that because of Jesus' colt ride to Golgatha, you and I, fuzzy sighted and all, get to be deeply and solidly attached to him. We oft-unseeing ones get to attach to the One who keeps mysteriously seeing, weeping, and riding forward among us, today, for the Joy now set before him... the time of his coming again, of his making all things holy and wholly new. Bring it on!
So while it's easy to lose perspective amid world-wide jostling crowds and personal aches alike, might we still declare our gratitude to Jesus Christ for riding that colt? Might we declare our gratitude to the one who latches on to his followers, tightly and tenderly? Gratitude to the one who offers a gut-grasping gift of the promised future parade, chocked full of people from around this globe? With gratitude buttressing our hearts of anticipation, might we ask him for his eyes to see what children he wants us to heal and what stones he wants us to stack today, so to speak?
And then, knowing that somehow we get to ride with him and one another on his colt, might we, perhaps sometimes with tears, find today's joy in following him forward?