Sacred Stories | Fair, with Occasional Clouds

“When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Sir, come and see.’ And Jesus wept.” – John 11: 33-35 NABRE

It was lunch time. I had just filled my coffee cup and was pressing on the plastic lid when an elderly man approached the coffee pot in our hospital café. I greeted him with a smile and asked, “How are you, sir?”

He answered with one of the polite metaphors typical of his generation: “Fair – with occasional clouds.”

He kept his head down, as if he was pondering something, while his coffee cup was filling. When the cup was full, he looked up at me. That was when I saw the clouds. A raindrop of a tear formed in the corner of his eye.

He said, “My wife has been sick for quite a while. I just came from taking her to the clinic across the way.”

He paused and had a look of remembered comfort. “It’s a wonderful thing when a doctor holds your hand and has tears in her eyes when she tells you the bad news you already know.”

There was a raindrop in my eye, too. We stood together under the cloud, waiting a few moments for it to pass.

“And Jesus wept” at the coffee pot. And nobody thought it was odd.

Shared from the Sacred Stories Archive

Questions for Reflection

Reflect on a time when you listened with empathy and love. How was your demonstration of compassion received?

As a caregiver, we often provide comfort. When was the last time someone accompanied you in your time of need?

About Sacred Stories

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of
the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

Sacred Stories convey ways our mission is being lived out by the gifted people in our ministry. We invite you to
use these stories for inspiration, as a meeting reflection, or to encourage discussion with your team.

If you have experienced God’s healing presence in your work, and are considering submitting a Sacred Story, please review our Sacred Story Guidelines and online submission form.