Our God of broken hearts (nigh-ing Himself to those in such lonely personal agony - Ps. 34:18) and collector of tears in our bottle of remembered weeping (Ps, 56:8), must be doing double duty in our chaotic, hurtful, dangerous world. We shake our heads in unbelief at man's inhumanity to man and from the comfort and safety of our homes experience short-lived twinges in our hearts for those poor souls "over there". On Facebook we'll decry the lack of U.S.A. leadership to do something to curb the gruesome onslaught of evil in our world and pin our hope on the next election. Wrong hope pinning place.
Collective broken hearts and bottled tears are all individual and unique to God. Like mine are to me. Tears from these aged eyes, bottled by my Loving Heavenly Father, flowed from multiple walks through the valley of the shadow of death (not mine..haven't noticed me in the B'ham News obits yet), disturbed relationships, and those moments of total helplessness to change a pain, whatever it was. And I'm humbled God loves me enough to also bottle those tears brought on by those moments of self realization - good ones and bad ones. The point is, the pain of a broken heart hurts so deeply because it is mine as it is yours. And we are not to judge the worthiness of the broken heart in another, or its' cause. That's God's business. He's the bottle keeper and "nigh to the broken hearted" One.
Older age hopefully brings deeper, more intimate awareness of God's grace in hurting moments. But all He can be to the broken hearted is on the table for every one. A banquet table at that. Looking back, and more so now as the distance to the Gates of Heaven shortens, tears captured in my bottle are not for me, but for my children and grand children. Not that they are breaking my heart. Far from it. They are a source of joy. I love the way they love life, love each other, and love our Lord. But life has not offered them freedom from their personal heart issues, painful ones at times. And old dad and granddad, aware of their challenges, reminds God my bottle is not yet full. Heart felt tear times come because the dynamics of their lives - their dreams, their hopes, their relationships, their love - are anchored deep within this old heart. When a dream is shattered, a hope deferred, a relationship awry, a love un-given, and I see the hurt and tears, then....bottle and nigh time.
But the heart smile comes when those tear moments fade in the beauty of God's love and care showing up in their lives, most often communicated in a shoulder to cry on, loving arms surrounding them, but also found in the honesty and strength of heart His Presence offers...a truth and experience uncatchable, only Spirit taught.
In that "bottle" Psalm, David's says of God, "You have delivered my feet from falling that I may walk before God in the light of the living." The One who bottles our tears offers strength for the day...even a tear filled day. In Psalm 34 where He promises to be "nigh to those of a broken heart", David also takes a stab at his own position of power when he wrote, "The young lions do lack and suffer hunger but those who wait upon the Lord shall not want any good thing."
Some heart needs only God can meet. Broken heartedness is one of them. Is it possible that in Heaven when God wipes away all tears from our eyes , He will sit us on His divine lap, take our bottle of tears He treasured for us to remember, pour them out before His Throne of Grace, and say to us, "My child, I knew the cause of every one of those tears. I shared your broken heart?"
Talk about a smile from ear to ear...and a hug of "nigh-ness" like you've never known!!!