Yesterday morning, a Polish woman came to help me clean. We talked and she shared how angry and troubled she is over what’s happening to Ukraine and so proud of her country for welcoming so many refugees. After awhile, I put on instrumental music, violin and piano renditions of hymns. She’s Catholic and I wondered if some were familiar to her. So I was surprised when she sang along in Polish, “Down from his Glory.” After awhile I thought, “Is she singing the words I’m singing?”
“Down from His glory, ever living story
My God and Savior came and Jesus was His name.
Born in a manger, to His own a stranger
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.”
My parents sang this as a duet in church. The grandson of William and Catherine Booth wrote the lyrics but the tune was a popular Italian love song, O Sole Mio. . And then I thought, my Polish friend was probably singing O Sole Mio. (translation: my own sunshine.) Sometimes a good love song comes like a shot of sunshine to the soul.
Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve cried a lot lately. One day I pictured Jesus weeping. John 11:35 states, “Jesus wept.” But it wasn’t a one time happening for Jesus, which is part of why I love these lyrics by Mary Dawson.
“I’ve often heard the carol say that baby Jesus in the hay
Made no crying as He lay upon His manger bed.
But I believe that Jesus cried so He could feel and empathize
With the child that’s deep inside each lonely tear we shed.
When I read that Jesus wept
I know He understands
When I read that Jesus wept I feel His gentle hand
Reaching out with God’s compassion, healing wounds that sin has left
Sacrament of incarnation
So take heart, dear friends. During Lent, it matters to remember Jesus wept. And the man of sorrows still weeps because he understands. Jesus gets it and us no matter what song we sing or how many times we put on a brave face when we’re feeling more lost than found. Or when life seems more hopeless than hope-full.
The song ends with, “He gathers all the tears there are and covers them with grace.”
Gathered and covered with Grace.
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