Sunday, October 9, 2011

Every Tear

Do you ever wake up and without really knowing why, you have a feeling of dread?  Then, as the sleep retreats, you remember… 

Yesterday my friend Geraldine posted an update on CaringBridge for her son Connor.  Connor has Hunter Syndrome.  Without going into all the details, it is a condition which has affected every part of his life, and the lives of the family.  Most Hunter kids do not live past their teen years.  Right now Connor is in the ICU and the doctors have told the family to be prepared for the worst. 
I’ve known Geraldine since Grade Six when my family moved to Calgary.  We were best friends growing up, and reconnected for our 20-year high school reunion.  Our faith journeys have been very different, but, Praise God!, we have both found our strength and comfort in our relationship with Jesus. 

She’s one of just a handful of friends with whom I can laugh hysterically one moment, and then have a deep conversation with the next.  Our visits to each other have been some of the highlights of my life for the past several years. 
And now, when she is in a time of crisis, I’m not able to be there.  I got up at 5:30 this morning and turned on my computer to see if there was an update.  I was dreading what I might find.  For now, Connor is doing okay.  What will the day bring? 

I sent out an email last night to several friends who know Geraldine, and know how much she means to me.  One of them responded with the words of Revelation 21:4:  “God will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 
Every tear.  What a picture of the hope we have in Jesus!  No more death or mourning, no more crying or pain. 
I picture my mom when she woke up in Heaven in 1995:  Jesus is there, and He draws her close to Him.  And He begins to wipe away her tears.  Tears of a life lived in so much pain from the various forms of cancer which devastated her body.  Using hands which still hold the mark of His redeeming work, one-by-one my mom’s tears are removed.

I imagine it taking some time, because there have been many.  With each gentle pass of His hand, her face changes.  The scars of the surgeons’ knives begin to fade.  Her body strengthens, becoming whole and vibrant.  As the final tears leave, she breathes in deeply, radiant in the presence of her Savior.
This is my prayer, my hope, my comfort for Geraldine and her family, for Connor.  Every tear, dear friend, will be wiped away. 

But until then, we weep.  Today, I am weeping way down here in the D.R. while Geraldine and her family hold vigil way up in Calgary, Canada.  Today there is the possibility of death, there is mourning and crying and pain. 
I read Lamentations 3 for my devotions this morning.  In the midst of all kinds of hardship and suffering, these words of hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Today, I am crying out that this pain will not consume.  That the God of all compassion will pour out His peace on Geraldine.  That in the midst of this time of piercing agony, the One with pierced hands will draw the family to Himself. 

Today, far away from where I yearn to be, I will choose to say to myself that the Lord is my portion, too.  I will wait for Him.  I will wait, and in my waiting, I will choose to praise Him.  

Praise Him for the faith He has given Geraldine.  Praise Him for her family and the community in Calgary who are ministering to them.  Praise Him that one day, every tear will be wiped away, including the ones being shed right now.

Oh, Father, let us not be consumed.  In Your great love, in Your unfailing compassion, in Your faithfulness, renew us this morning.  Be our portion, be our all-in-all. 

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