Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tears - An All Saints Day Tribute

As I often do, I'll start this post off with some brutal honesty.

I've never given All Saints Day much thought.  It is a centuries old tradition, especially meaningful in the first 300 years of the Church when so many were martyred.  It still has a place today, and in the Methodist church, on the first Sunday of November, we celebrate the lives of those who've gone home to heaven in the last year.  As a family, we've lost people before now - including Dave's beloved grandmother Mable 18 months ago.  Yet, it's never hit this close to home; so close to pull me out of my self-absorbed reverie to grasp the full meaning. This All Saints Day, the day we put my Dad's ashes in the ground after church, definitely brings the full concept painfully close.

I woke this morning with a song in my head, "Already There," by Casting Crowns (you can listen to it here).  I've listened to that song a lot in the last 6 weeks.  We all have moments where we look at God and go, "What is happening?  Why?  When?  Where?....Huh, God?"  It is immensely comforting for me to be able to say, One day I'll stand before You and look back on the life I've lived. I can't wait to enjoy the view and see how all the pieces fit.

Today, of all days, when I know it will be so hard, I am desperately clinging to that hope of glory.  There will be a day when those questions get answered.  It's funny to think, too, some of those questions I think are so important right now will not be when I'm standing next to Jesus. 

But for right now, just for today, for the next few hours, I'm not going to ask any questions.  I am just going to rest in the comfort of knowing God has me.  He has us.  He has my Dad.  He has the whole world.  He has not lost His grip. He is  present and able, always.  He is kind and gracious.  He loves me.  He loves you.  He knows it hurts and how badly it does.  He is already at the end of my life on earth but at the same time, and I write this with incredible mystery and wonder, He is right here with me in this moment and time.  I know all of that for sure, even if I don't understand it at all.

For anyone out there struggling like me, on this All Saint's Day, I gained permission from my friend
to post a vision she shared with me this week.  It is SO powerful, it shifted my thought-life about the world to come in a major way.  My friend is working through a decade-old grief and recently had a healing experience in prayer which is nothing short of otherworldly.  It's called Tears and will speak to the heart of anyone who's lost a loved one, as well as all those who've wondered what the Lord really does with our tears.  It's precious.  Please take it in and know the Lord indeed provides this level of comfort to all when we ask. 

Lord, You've kept track of all my wandering and my weeping.  You've stored my many tears in Your bottle, not one will be lost.  You care about me every time I've cried.  For it is recorded in Your book of remembrance. - Psalm 56:8

I asked the Lord for a picture and this is what He gave me.  I share it with you.

I saw your tears, I felt my own - I fell to my knees.  Why Lord, why so much pain - who will carry all this pain?

In an instant I was swept away to a place; a weighty place so beautiful that words alone are insufficient.  I believe it was a secret place, for the most magnificent beings I have ever seen lined the room in majesty.  There were more than I could count and each one was holding a bottle.  Was it a bottle of light?  A bottle of gold?  A bottle of glory?  I could not tell.

No one spoke and I knelt, trembling in fear.  When I looked up, one bottle caught my eye.  It seemed to shine like the stars of Heaven.  The angel holding it summoned me toward it.  As I came near I saw its color; iridescent blue mixed with a majestic purple I have never seen on earth.  I could not take my eyes off such a stunning sight - my eyes were fixed, almost frozen as I looked upon this jar of beauty.  What was stored in such a container?  It could only be something worth more than all the wealth of the nations or all the hearts of men.  What could it be?

As I looked at this amazing bottle, I saw a name written on it - it was your name. The angel tipped the bottle and summoned me to look in - I trembled and tried to look away but I could not; I wanted to see the treasure within.  As I looked, I saw you my sweet friend, crying.  There you were, broken-hearted and tears unstoppable.  Before I could reach out to you, I saw your tears dropping, dropping into the beautiful bottle.  Yes, every tear spilling into this jar, not one to be lost.  As I watched the scene before me, I saw your tears turning into gems, diamonds and sapphires.  Each tear that dropped turned into splashes of beauty that were carefully contained so as not to be lost.   

I looked up at the angel as if to ask why but then I saw beyond the tears - it was a great and glorious ocean, iridescent blue and majestic purple splashing upon the beach.  Each splash formed a beautiful gemstone creating the sand.  Then I saw Him - my Jesus - His eyes the color of the ocean, His smile so joyful my heart could barely contain such magnificence.  He was running and laughing in the sand.  He was playing with someone - a family - I looked, it was you.  You were together - all of you - your faces looked happy, joyful yet filled with a peace I have never seen.  I watched Jesus as He carefully ran His hand through the sand.  It was as if the joy were come from the gems that formed the sand.

Yes, the joy was coming from the gems; the diamonds and sapphires that had been your tears.  The ones He had guarded so closely and stored in this jar of beauty were shining with joy.  How could this be - such pain turned to joy?  I looked again and I saw you crying, yet dancing together in the sand at the same time.  Could this ?  Two worlds so carefully knit together?  One of pain and one of joy?


Immediately the angel tipped the jar so I could no longer see the contents but before me sat another bottle.  This one was gold, so bright I could barely look upon it but I saw for a fleeting moment the name: THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.

I fell to the floor with my face down for fear I would die at such a precious sight.  My Savior's blood - the very blood that was shed for my life.  And then I knew....His blood that come from such a great sacrifice was shed for our tears, your tears, my tears, all the pain of this world.  Those tears were worth more than I could think or imagine and none were to be lost.

In an instant I was back on my knees, tears streaming down my face - tears for you.  The Lord was there holding a bottle - this one had my name on it - collecting my tears; the ones He gave His life for.  At that moment I let go - I surrendered my tears to Him who promised to carry my sadness, my pain, my heartbreak.  I know each tear has a safe place till Heaven and earth are one.  I do not understand but I will trust.

I pray that you will allow your tears to flow freely - for not one is ever lost or wasted and someday those tears will be like grains of sand that look like diamonds filling an ocean that only knows JOY.

I am forever thankful for friend. 

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