And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
There are times when the tears just come. We lose someone who is dear to us; a relationship falls apart; the holidays bring memories of events, people, better days gone by. Sometimes the tears just come, at other times we have kept them bottled up inside till we can’t hold the floodgates any longer. The tears just pour down our face.
Which just puts us in a tough spot! We are supposed to “be strong,” to “suck it up”, to “just get over it.” After all, big girls and big boys don’t cry. We live in a world where we have learned to be embarrassed by our tears. And we so quickly wipe them from our face, go into another room, do everything we can to stop the flow.
And we do it alone. We don’t want anyone to see.
As I heard these verses this morning in my mind I had the picture of a child whose knee has been skinned, whose heart has been broken–with tears pouring down her face; her mother tenderly holding her, wiping the tears away.
There is something about allowing someone to get that close, that personal. There is something different about having someone touch our face, to wipe the tears away. It is intimacy.
I just had to wonder if we would ever allow God to get that close.