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Why Are You Weeping?

Updated: Apr 19

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:11-13 NKJV)

"Woman, why are you weeping?" What a valid and insightful question for the angels to ask Mary. They knew that the Messiah was not dead but resurrected. He was very much alive. However, Mary was there, “looking for the living One in a tomb” (Luke 24:5 TPT).

We too, like Mary, often mourn what is not dead. We need the presence of Jesus to help us grieve what is lost and revive what is not dead in our hearts. Recently, as I was processing pain with Jesus, I felt Him speak to my heart: “ask me what to mourn and what you’ve mourned prematurely.” Hmm, I’d never done anything like that before with Him, but in trust, I immediately grabbed a sheet of paper, drew a line down the middle, and began writing. The exercise was simple. On one side I wrote, “To Mourn,” and on the other I wrote, “Not to Mourn.”

I began listening to Jesus with the question, “what am I mourning that is not dead?” I then wrote whatever immediately came to mind. “Lost hope” was the first thing I heard. Wow, I didn’t know I was mourning hope, but I felt so grateful to the Lord that He would search my heart and share that with me. I asked Jesus to speak life to lost hope, and He did. Hope was not lost; it remained. Hope was being restored, uncovered, redirected and renewed within me.

For the other side of the paper, I asked Jesus the question, “what are you giving me permission to mourn?” I found the list on this side to be noticeably more specific and tangible. I went down the list, one by one, with Jesus, asking Him to show me how to grieve each item with Him. Words fall short to describe the joy recovered in this experience. In doing this exercise, I realized that what God gives us permission to mourn—and therefore the grace to mourn—we can recover from. He comes alongside us, with Himself, guiding us through the grieving process.

So, what about you? Why are you weeping?

Try asking Jesus these questions:

Ask Jesus: What am I mourning that’s not dead?

Ask Jesus: Why am I mourning?

Ask Jesus: What life do you want to speak into what I’ve been mourning?

Ask Jesus: What are you giving me permission to mourn? Or, what do I need to mourn with you?

Ask Jesus: Would you show me how to grieve this with you?

With Joy,


This article was first published in email by ONE on December 21, 2020.


Gabrielle Michelle Leonard

Gabrielle M. Leonard

Founder and Director of
Returning to Joy

Gabrielle Michelle Leonard is a dynamic speaker, facilitator, certified mental health coach, minister, and podcaster. She is known for being a captivating storyteller and bible teacher who imparts practical wisdom that heals the soul.

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