I had always taken the 56th Psalm literally, about the Lord keeping each of our tears in a bottle; but it was only when reading it over and over these past months that it sunk in that He also writes each one in a book. I imagine the book with each of our names heading a section, and each new tear noted as it falls.
People have said, “Oh, that’s only poetry, it’s not literally true!” A remark that would not be appreciated by David to whom the psalm is attributed, nor by the likes of John Milton, or C.S. Lewis. Poetry is not less true than prose; that is an Enlightenment superstition. A strong case can be made that poetry actually leads us closer to the heart of truth than do declarative statements.
A newly-widowed sister wrote to me that at times she felt the flask on her cheek. Some of us have graduated to bigger bottles over the past months; we live in the land of sacred tears.
Tears came to my eyes recently when I was in Amsterdam, at the building where we had lived for 6 months in early 1988. I was thinking to myself again, “I’ll have to tell Cynthia how much this has all changed.” Then I remembered that I would not be doing that.
But the tears come less often now, and I have many moments of joy such as seeing my winter flowers all blooming despite the layers of new snow we have had recently. I have now finished the 30 short episodes of my webTV series on Kingdom lessons from the garden; and one of the recurring themes was this: Life is stronger than death!
And the rainbows remind us of the covenant: “Seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.”