These Are The Tears That Jesus Wept – by Rick DeLay


(Written on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, 2021, from Kingman Prison) 

These are the tears that Jesus wept, 
Deep groanings calling unto deep
   With pleas like orphans long forsaken
   He heard the sisters weeping.

Dearest Martha, toiling Martha,
In childlike faith enter My rest;
   Mary, sit here at My feet;
   You, too, must hear and enter rest.

Though weeping may endure the night,
   Won’t Lazarus rise to joyful light?…

      The believing heart will see it well! 

Cry for humanity, sigh deep within…
For humanity steeped in doubt and sin.
   Cry for humanity, groan deep within…
   Which lied in state in four-day stench
      In death’s dark womb, wrapped in that tomb,
      Bound in the muffled scream of night.

“But yet”, Scripture tells us


He opens up our graves of exile
   and brings us back to Himself
To the end that we will know,
   That He, He only … IS THE LORD!

   The LORD is in His holy temple
      Be still and know that He is God;
         Look to Him and be saved,
            Elect from all ends of the Earth!

Loose us LORD and let us go
To skip like calves loosed from the stall
   Redeemed returning joyful song
   to clapping trees of greenish lawn
      To frolic about in flowered fields,
      In fawning meadows leaping.

      What became of weeping? 

(This poem is based on John 11:1-44) 


  1. God almighty has given you such a beautiful gift of sensitive,descriptive, insightful and Holy Spirit anointed written language. My written response seems clumsy in comparison. Do not forget the beauty of this precious time you have been given to write your poems. I am very sure your poems will comfort and bless many people and give them hope to look to our wonderfully awesome saviour. The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make is face shine upon you and give you His perfect peace. Lorraine from Australia.

    • Greetings to you in Messiah from seventeen miles outside of Kingman in the high desert of Mojave (Mo’ hahv ee) County in northeastern Arizona just a stone’s throw from the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.

      Thank you so much for your life giving words of encouragement in response to, ”These Are the Tears that Jesus Wept”. When I wrote this part of the poem,

      Look to Him and be saved,
      Elect from all ends of the Earth

      I had no idea my words would elicit a response from the udder end of the earth, i.e. ”down under”. lol

      Word from afar spreads quickly in here and when an inmate heard that I heard from New Zealand and Australia he asked to read the poem. This is a man who normally wouldn’t read poetry, but thanks to you, he read it and recognized the story from the Gospel of John. Your kind words opened an effectual door of ministry for me to share God’s Word with him. You were involved in prison ministry and didn’t even know it just as I was a poet and didn’t even know it. : )

      I was deeply moved writing the last seven verses of the poem for reasons, at the time, known only to me, which I feel I should share with you. The last seven verses are my favorite part of the poem and I never tire of reading them. They are eternally fresh and never grow old.

      Whenever I write something that leaves me in tears I try to capture the essence of why it moved me so, treating the tears like the burning ember which results from rubbing two sticks together to start a fire. One frantically applies the fragile ember to his nest of kindling and puffs like a wide-eyed manic pufferfish to set the kindling ablaze. Here are the last seven verses again:

      Loose us LORD and let us go
      To skip like calves loosed from the stall
      Redeemed returning joyful song
      To clapping trees of greenish lawn
      To frolic about in flowered fields
      In fawning meadows leaping

      What became of weeping?

      The first four verses are veiled Scripture references that are favorites of mine.

      Verse 1: Jn 11:44
      Verse 2: Mal. 4:2
      Verse 3-4: Isa. 51:11 and Isa. 55:12

      Verses 5 and 6 have special meaning to me.

      In April of 1999, when I was in prison in The California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo (five miles inland from the Central California coastline) we had 14 deer that came daily to our concertina laced fence. We scored and quartered green apples (saved from our chow) with extricated blades from disposable razors and tossed them like grenades over the metal fencing. They would land perfectly breaking up into small pieces ready for the deer to eat. We especially liked the little fawns who were very cute and out-of-this-world adorable.

      We sat atop a verdant green hill looking down upon a tree lined brook with a grassy meadow filled with flowers. This part of California is extremely beautiful at this time of year.

      After feasting on our apples the deer normally went down to the grassy meadow to graze as the fawns frolicked in the flowery field.

      I especially liked seeing the fawns sprinting back and forth across the length of the field then come to a screeching halt then commence to hopping and skipping after each other. It was both spellbinding and humorous causing us to break out into laughter at their silly antics.

      This is what I was seeing when I wrote verses 5 and 6. One of the happiest moments of my life.

      Verse 7 aptly pronounces the end of sorrow which was epitomized by the heart wrenching weeping of Martha and Mary (and anyone else who has plumbed the depths of sadness and grief.

      This happy visual of the fawns in the meadow and a deep longing for the sure end of what only seems like an endless season of sorrow released tear duct floodgates from within and left me with the sure sense that my sorrows aren’t wasted when others are touched by,
      The Tears That Jesus Wept.

      Somebody call a wambulance for me.

      Rick DeLay, AKA Weepy the Poet

  2. Beautiful Rick. Thanks and may you continue to find the Lord’s inspiration to put pen to paper. Truly, ‘iron bars do not a prison make’ for you are more free that multitudes of people who live with no thought of beyond this life. I’m Bill, way down south in New Zealand and maybe we’ll run into each other in one of those Heavenly streets. The Lord continue to bless and keep you, my brother. Love and shalom. Bill Millward


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