Tears in a Bottle

With my mother's death just two days ago, I am reminded of a Bible verse:  "You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8

This verse paints a lovely picture for me of God's love.  He cares enough about my sorrows to capture each and every tear of mine and put it in a bottle.  Wow.  I wonder how big the bottle is or how many there are.  Because along this journey with my mother I have shed many.

Thursday I made my daily visit with her and each time I left I wondered if it would be the last earthly visit I had with her.  I remember her looking a little worse than the day before but her eyes were opened, although glassed over a bit.  Her chin had turned cooler than usual and I had noticed other signs that her body was beginning to shut down.  As I sat there I talked to her about heaven once again.  She had indicated earlier in the week that she was seeing a light.  I told her how wonderful it would be to see my father who had been deceased for fifty years, how excited he would be to see her again.  And how her blind eyes would finally be able to see again.  She would be able to run and jump and there would be no pain.  I also reminded her that her lovely white hair would most likely be replaced by the striking black mane that she once had.  And her job in heaven would surely be to tend the flower gardens there.  Ones more beautiful that she ever tended here on earth.  I told her, "You have fought the battle, you have finished the race, you have done good."  And then I kissed her on the cheek, told her I loved her and would see her again the next day.

I received a call around 10 pm from the nursing home that evening.  The nurse told me that my mother was not doing well.  I said, "I'm on my way."  I made my husband drive as fast as he could and the entire time I was saying, "Don't let her die before I get there, don't let her die before I get there."  And then my husband turned to me and said, "It will be OK if she does."

Upon arriving, I walked as quickly down the hall as I could, swung the door open and ran to her bedside.  I began saying, "Mama...Mama?"  I touched her hand and then her face. She did not respond and I looked at my husband and told him to get the nurse.  He already knew but turned for the door just as she walked in.  My mother was gone.  Gone from this earth into her heavenly home.  And although I had prayed for months for God to take her, to take her out of her pain and misery, I suddenly felt so sad and overwhelmed and alone.  And that's when fresh tears began to drop.

Those tears have fallen ever since.  Whenever I awake and remember that she is gone, they fall.  Whenever my mind recalls a memory, they fall.  And then I take comfort in knowing that although both of my earthly parents have gone to heaven, I have have a heavenly Father.  One who cares so much for me that he is catching every one of those tears and putting them in a bottle.  And that he knows all of my sorrows.  He knows exactly how I am hurting right now.  And that gives me hope.  Hope that this intense pain will one day get better.  That He will hold my hand not only through the next couple of days that are sure to be unbearable,  but always.  He will walk every step of this next journey I am to take with me.  And He will pick me up and carry me whenever I am too weary to walk.

People have said that on the other side of sadness is joy.  Less than twelve hours after my mother passed into the eternal world, I witnessed the birth of my tenth grandchild.  And as I watched that precious little boy be delivered into our world I thought, what a gift that God has given me.  He has shown me the circle of life; both life and death within just a few hours of each other.  I'm still reeling from all of this and don't understand the mysteries of God.  But I do know He cares for me.  He has shown me that and I am overwhelmed with His love and mercy.  His mercies truly are new every day.

1 comment

  1. Beautiful words and feelings. Thinking of you and your family.