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"It Takes a Strong Person . . ." - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I read a story the other day about Abraham Lincoln. Several people had gathered one day in November of 1864 in a waiting room to speak to the president. Included in that group was a young boy around 13 years old.

The president saw the young man, and asked what he wanted. He approached Mr. Lincoln and put his hand on the arm of the president's chair and bowed his head. He said, "Mr. Lincoln, I was a drummer in a regiment for two years and my captain got angry with me and kicked me out. I got sick and have been in the hospital a long time. Today is the first time that I've been out and I came to see if you could do something for me." The president found out that this boy had no home, that his father and mother were both killed in the war and that he had no family. The boy burst into tears and said, "Nobody cares for me."

Mr. Lincoln's eyes filled with tears and he cried with the boy. He then pulled out a card and addressed it to certain officials in authority. He gave special instructions to care for the young man . . . and they did. It takes a strong person to cry.

In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens has his protagonist, Pip, to say, “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before.” (Chapter 19)

I don't know about you, but I don't ever want to be ashamed of my tears. The greatest person who ever lived cried when he was sad, standing at the grave of a close friend. Read it for yourself in the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John. It takes a strong person to cry.

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