Speaking with my friend Jonathan Sutherland about leadership and manhood made me recall a post I wrote a few years ago when I was on Livejournal. I've taken the liberty of revising it a bit, but here it is for your reading enjoyment:
You're probably familiar with the story of Joseph. In the Bible, he's one of the major players toward the end of Genesis and well-known for a few things: prophetic dreams and dream interpretation, a coat of many colors (Technicolor Dream Coat, anyone?), being sold into slavery by his brothers, and saving his family from starvation.
What you may not have noticed is that Joseph is also quite the crier. In fact, he's an emotional wreck throughout much of his story. Now, I'd probably understand it a little more if he was sobbing after his brothers threw him in a well or after Potiphar threw him in prison (for NOT sleeping with his wife). But the most significant amount of weeping in this story is actually during the parts where he is in a position of power and authority only second to the King. Within the span of ten chapters, Joseph goes into a crying fit more often than any other character in the Bible.
Here are some examples:
"He turned away from them and began to weep... "
"Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there."
"He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh's household heard about it."
"Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping."
"And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him."
"He threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time."
"Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him."
"When their message came to him, Joseph wept."
But, it's not just him.
Many of men in the scriptures weep.
And this puts me in good company because there have been many times in my own life when I'm overcome with emotion and I want to weep, as well. So, whoever came up with the lie that "real men don't cry" was just plain wrong. Either that or they have a much different view of manliness than I do.
Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.