“But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.”-John 16:6
How would you feel if your best friend, your teacher, and the one upon whom you had placed all of your hopes told you he was leaving? What would you think if you’d given up everything for someone, and he was departing? Would you be afraid, confused, or perhaps angry? All of those would be valid feelings.
When Jesus looked at his brothers, he likely saw downcast eyes, crossed arms, and perhaps tears. He acknowledged their feelings. He had not told them, nor shown them, how his departure was actually good news. Their sadness was appropriate.
Too often, we minimize or negate others’ emotions. We don’t want them to feel sad, so we tell them to cheer up. When we do that, we not only communicate that their feelings are not valid, we also add shame to the mix. Rather than minimizing others experiences, acknowledge their feelings and be with them.
Jesus, thank you for making me emotional. Feelings are not evil or bad, they simply are. Help me to trust that you welcome my emotions, regardless of their color, intensity, or hue. Amen.