For years cyberspace has given us a vivid glimpse into the pain-filled lives of others and in return given us opportunities to share our own laughter and tears with our world. While some may think Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Texting are cold ways to communicate, I love it. At my fingertips is an instant worldwide prayer network to offer comfort and soul-touching compassion to others and they in turn encourage me.
I recently read “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. You’ll find my tear blots on almost every page. The true story of Louie Zamperini and his survival in the prisoner of war camps in Japan during World War II tore at my heart. He and his fellow soldiers survived , though many died or were killed, the most horrific conditions, with multiple beatings every day, starvation, disease, hard labor…it’s hard to believe anyone would come home. I’m not sure if I can go see the movie…I’ll have to carry a gigantic box of tissues and walk out when I start sobbing.
There’s a time in the 1990s, just before Mother’s Day, I’ll never forget. My husband and I had moved and I quickly made friends with my neighbor, Candice, across the street. One afternoon, Candice came running to us with the news that her daughter and two children had been in a tragic car accident just two miles from home. Her daughter was killed and the children hospitalized. Stunned, John and I gathered Candice into our arms and prayed as she sobbed. The weeks passed in a blur as her husband and she coped with their loss while taking in the two children, Jason, age six, and Allyson, age three, as well as their daddy.
Allyson, released from the hospital after a month, woke up every night crying for her mother. “Hold me, Grandma, hold me,” she cried. Candice rocked her until she fell back asleep. This delicate little blonde soon became my friend and she loved to come over and play with Play-doh.
One scorching afternoon in August, Allyson ran to greet me as I opened my mailbox. She hugged me and pleaded, “Can I come over and play?” Candice hurried over and scooped her up, “Sweetie, we’ve got pizza coming for supper so you can’t go to Grandma Betty’s right now.”
Big tears ran down Allyson’s face. She wiped away a tear with a finger and reached for her grandmother’s hand. “Yes, we save those precious tears, don’t we?” Candice held her hand open as Allyson patted each of her tears into the palm of her grandmother’s loving hand.
“Candice,” I stammered. “Do you know there’s a scripture verse in the Bible about God saving our tears?” She replied in surprise, “No, I’ve never heard of it.”
Later I wrote it down for her: “You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle–are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8 (Amplified). I tear-up when I remember the compassion and love of Candice and how divine comfort came to a heartbroken grandchild and family with a simple act of saving those precious tears.
Today I wonder, do I touch the wounded around me and try to understand their pain? Through the busyness of life, do I take time for compassionate communication on Facebook, with a phone call, or by sending a card? Will I point people to the Lord, the divine source of comfort and hope…the One who keeps their tears in His bottle? Perhaps I can push back from my keyboard, hold out my hands, palms up, to catch their tears.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.” Psalm 126:5 (Amplified)