by John O’Malley
“And they lifted up their voice, and wept again” (Ruth 1:14).
Agony has no fitting words. This mourning trio could only lift their voices and cry out. Their heartfelt expression, by custom and culture, was done by the repeated smiting of their hands on their breasts or on the tops of their heads while crying out in anguish. These sisters in suffering, struggles, and sorrow wept from their hearts.
What a pitiful sight they must have been. Sorrow buried in the heart is oftentimes hard to relate to others in words. Orpah, Ruth, and Naomi paused to consider the emotional precipice of the moment. That mournful day would be long remembered by all involved.
The trio wept as they realized they were leaving their memories and mates buried in the sands of Moab. They wept again, when thoughts of being homeless, husbandless, and hopeless entered their sphere of thinking. The phrase that captures my focus is “They wept, again.”They were not hindered by the fact that they had wept a few moments earlier.
I know it would be easy to discount the continual weeping because they were women. Weeping, and weeping again, is not an exclusive right of women. Men must learn that tears can be the words that speak the hurts of their heart.
When sorrow visits, and then visits again, the homes of our friends, remember a child of God is commanded to “weep with them that weep”(Romans 12:15).
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