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Tears in Heaven

I am astounded to discover that I either missed something – or I forgot – often.

Initially this worried me. As many times as I have read the Bible, I don’t remember catching the whole meaning of a verse I memorized early on in my walk with Jesus:

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.

‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
Rev 7:17 (NIV)

Emphasis on the remember part of my opening sentence. This got me wondering how many times I’ve parroted the words, “there are no tears in heaven.” I’m not gonna lie, the thought made me shiver a little.

Ahem. It stands to reason that, since “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there will be tears – in heaven.”*

So immediately following this profound revelation (or review, whatever) I initially felt a little frightened at the thought of having misled loved ones.

But wait, there’s more:

“…he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces;
He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 25:8 (NIV)

Whew! My bad, but thanks to Jesus it’s not on me. Or on Eric Clapton either.

Initially I like the image of heaven without tears. But in heaven God heals each wound once and for all – finally and for evermore.

That’s not to say we won’t all account for our every word and deed. We will – good, not-so-good and bad. I don’t like to admit I have much to be ashamed of and to weep over. Even so, we get to ask forgiveness. What’s more, we don’t have to wait – we can be forgiven now. And then we get heaven! YEAH!!

With such a subjective memory as mine, today I must declare:

“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Isaiah 25:9 (NIV)

… And God will help me to never forget it!

 

*David Jeremiah, Turning Point, Tribulation Harvest, Part 2 teaching series available on Youtube.

Image courtesy Pixabay

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Alley

To clear my head from the hard weekend, I shifted gears and started my work day at the WordPress Reader. Checking in on the blogosphere community lifted my spirits, as usual. My prayer time enhanced, perspective improved, I noticed the common thread – we are shaken.

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Later, during my first hourly circle around my block, a figure stole my attention – of someone sitting on the ground a few feet into the paved alleyway, head bowed, quietly weeping. The person looked like any of the numerous street people who frequent the avenue north of the street on which I live. Ordinarily I would have passed on by, but something about her stirred something in me.

Following my gut I stepped closer, asking if she needed help. With a sweep of her arm she waved me away, but I clumsily persisted. Reluctantly, she said she had just heard about the tragedy in Orlando.

Again, I recalled the scenes from Monday’s newscasts and held back my own tears. Awkwardly I blurted out, “I know how you feel.” To that she turned her head toward me. From the long, tousled hair covering her face I heard, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Impulsively I sat down on the pavement next to her. In due course I said, “Maybe you’re right, but I’m horrified just the same.” Surging with energy I felt uncomfortably feeble, not knowing if the stranger understood I referred to Orlando, and not my sitting by her. My mind became a blank slate. She didn’t respond. I simply sat there.

I silently asked God for direction, but heard nothing. And yet, I began to feel conspicuously at ease. We sat together in silence. Well after my tail end went numb, she wordlessly got to her feet, her head still low, and she walked away.

Fumbling to my feet I watched and noticed she didn’t look back. After the dozen-plus steps she turned the corner toward the busy street, out of view. Scant moments later I resumed walking the same direction. When I rounded the corner she was nowhere in sight.

I can’t tell you what the time meant to her. I continue to pray she’s not alone – not in her feelings or in the world. Hours later, I now wonder if angels also weep.

 

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

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