I recently re-read a passage in a Christian book I’ve had for many years. In this passage, the writer, Floyd McClung, recounted a time when he’d just finished teaching a group of young people about God’s ‘Father heart’. He desperately needed to rest, but was approached by a shy teenage girl asking to speak to him.
Initially her questions seemed to be superficial, but he realised that perhaps she was struggling to tell him something else. After listening for a while, he gently asked her if there was something more she really wanted to say. She sat down beside him in the small auditorium and almost whispered into his ear, “Can I cry on your shoulder?”
He replied that she could, but also asked her why she wanted to. Her eyes filled with tears as she began to share how her father had died when she was very young, how since then ‘she’d had nobody’s shoulder to cry on, no daddy to talk to about her questions and disappointments, her achievements and plans… She missed his loving arms to hold and comfort her’.
As that young girl sat and wept with her head on Floyd McClung’s shoulder, he asked her heavenly Father to come and heal the ache in her heart and fill that missing part in her life. In those few moments God did what no one else could do and began to mend her broken heart.
I’m always touched by the story above, however many times I read it. There’s something within all of our hearts that cries out to be known and understood by another - even those who don’t know God talk of ‘having a shoulder to cry on’.
Someone once sent me some pencil drawings by an artist who was imagining how Jesus might have been with young children. Some of the drawings showed him dancing and playing with a group of them, with some of them clinging to His legs. Another drawing showed Him sitting with an older girl, who was simply resting her head on His shoulder.
I believe that, when Jesus walked on the earth, He was truly like that, and would have let someone wet His shoulder with their tears. I wonder if you can imagine Him letting you do that. It’s always a blessing when there’s a Christian brother or sister we can share our hearts with - ‘Jesus with skin on’, but, even if there’s no such person in your life at this time, you can still come and sit with Jesus, and, by His Holy Spirit, know His comfort, as you share your longings and pain with Him. Let Him be the shoulder you cry on today.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today to sit with You and share my heart with You. Thank You that You love me and understand me like no one else. Amen.
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