John Wayne didn’t cry. My father didn’t cry. My grandfathers didn’t cry. Neither did I.
But, then I got to know about how real men and women can cry. I’m talking about war heroes who come home from Iraq and shed tears over the death of children. I’m talking about people who mourn the loss of their loved ones.
And, I’m talking about one of the baddest men who ever lived. A man who defeated the Philistine hordes. As a young man he killed a bear and a lion. To top it all off, he killed a giant. Then, to add to that, he led one of the greatest armies in the world and stood up to a king. I’m talking about David.
After King Saul tried to kill him, David prevailed. Then, Saul was killed in battle.
What did David do when the man who sought his life was killed?
Some might party. Others might quietly gloat. Some might have a parade through the streets.
Not David. Here’s what the Bible says he did:
They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
Later, Saul’s son Ishbosheth fought David over the throne. Two things happened.
- Abner, the greatest opposing general, was killed.
- Ishbosheth, the opposing King, was murdered at home on his bed.
Now, this sounds like great news for David! The opposing presumptive king is dead. His big, bad general was no more a threat!
What did David do? Did he dance? Did he sing? Did he play a happy tune on the lyre? Nope. Not at all.
Quite the opposite.
He mourned. He wept.
The baddest king of Israel cried when he heard of his enemies’ deaths.
Now, if David cried over the death of his enemies, how much more should we mourn the loss of our fellow Americans?
As Solomon said, there is a time to mourn. This is it. Let’s mourn the passing of our fellow image bearers (Genesis 1:26). Then, let’s honor the image of God in all our brothers and sisters. Let’s honor the image of God in our policemen and women. Let’s honor the image of our Father in the black, white, Latino, Asian, old, young, rich, and poor.
Why did David mourn? He saw someone made in the image of God being taken.
Now, what was it they said about David? “He was a man after God’s own heart.”
If David mourned, then I wonder if God did, too.
I wonder if he does now.