Tears, A Mess, and Joy
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
October rolled in suddenly, the year my son was three. He stood captivated at the window, pondering the confetti of leaves over our garden.
"What's that?" he asked.
"It's fall!" I said.
"That's not fall! That's a mess!" he moaned, as tears brimmed his blue eyes. He stood there for a while, watering the windowsill with tears as he took in the change of scene.
I was tempted to laugh. I was tempted to be quick to tell him there's no need for tears because spring will come again. But, the still small voice of the Lord whispered,
"Let him cry."
I stifled my amusement and hugged him while considering his point of view at the window. A tear drops. A leaf falls.
Sure, there is beauty and splendor in fall, but the truth is, that it gives way to the barrenness of winter. The gentleness of Jesus convicted in that moment of the times that I've smoothed over heartache with platitudes. It's okay to feel that pain as the wind whips away the leaves.
"So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." (John 16:22)
My son's brief moment of tears gave way to the delight of crunching leaves under foot as we appreciated that joy looks different in different seasons:
"And one day, forever, when 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.” Revelation 21:4
Until then, let us do as Jesus did. He wept with compassion and understanding with the sisters of Lazarus before he raised him from the dead. (John 11:35) Let us too, hold space for the heartache of others and give grace as we look joyfully forward to the hope we have in Christ Jesus and his kingdom come.