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The Tears of a President and Prince

The President of the United States broke down and wept during a speech where he announced new gun controls. The shootings at Sandy Hook are but the tip of an iceberg of violent, gun related deaths, every day. Hundreds of innocent victims, as well as criminals and gang members are killed.

Background checks on dealers at gun-shows and on the Internet will make it harder for dangerous people, like criminals and people suffering from severe mental illness, to buy guns. This won’t stop every act of violence, but could save one person, one child or hundreds and 85% of Americans agree. The National Rifle Association, Congress, all the Republican Presidential candidates complain of presidential overreach, breaching the Second Amendment - the Right to Bear Arms - and doubt the restrictions will really make a difference.

In a recent interview, Prince William described how fatherhood had made him more emotional and ‘well up’ a little more. He realizes how precious life is by putting everything into perspective. He gets upset at the idea of not being around to see his children grow up. Both William and Obama are men who publicly express their emotions and weep.

Boney M immortalized Psalm 137 ‘By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down. We wept when we remembered Zion’. Captives wept as they remembered their homeland, their failures and those who had exiled them. The shortest verse in the Bible is ‘Jesus wept’. At the tomb of Lazarus and surrounded by the grief of his dear friends, the lack of faith and His own approaching death on the cross, made Jesus weep. He wept as he approached Jerusalem and for its missed opportunity to embrace salvation. He wept at its impending destruction and wept at the refusal to recognize the coming of the Messiah. Jesus showed His humanity and was unafraid to weep.

Weeping expresses sadness, anger and frustration. We weep at the loss of loved ones. We weep at the loss of our homes and possessions. We weep for our past failures. We are ashamed and embarrassed at our bad choices and those of the folks we love. We are angry when evil strikes and bad things happen. We are frustrated when we and others fail to prevent evil and to do good. I was once accused of being emotional and my response was, ‘would you rather I didn’t care and it didn’t matter?’

Obama and Prince William are human. Expressing emotion and weeping can be instrumental when those feelings are turned into action. Obama is trying to control the sale of guns to save lives and William works to build a better world for George, Charlotte and all our children. Let us weep and then act.

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