He took his life and left behind his family.
As I entered the funeral home it was a familiar scene. People speaking in hushed tones, children scurrying about not truly understanding how to act in moments like these, tears, hugs, a book to sign, photos, dark clothing, and swollen eyes of those who were the closest.
I embraced my friend and said the only thing I ever say “I’m so sorry”, she hugged me close and said “He was my whole heart.” and then she pressed her face to mine and her warm tears transferred to me.
It was such a unique moment. It was if the LORD spoke through the feel of those tears on my cheek; her tears on my face. I could not bring myself to wipe them off. I wanted them to dry, to stay, and to remind me of her pain.
I walked into the chapel to say goodbye to the man who left all of this behind and as I stood I concentrated on those tears. I felt them slowly dry as I waited.
So many times I have longed to take another’s pain. As a pastor’s wife I have been exposed to some of the most tragic moments (fabulous moments as well, but those are easy). It’s the unexplainable tragic moments that are so heart wrenching. Oh how I have asked my sweet LORD to let me take some of the pain in order to relieve the hurting, but we can only share in it, not take it.
But those tears on my face taught me something. It taught me that my heart can break for what breaks His, if I allow it. If Iwelcome the tears of another onto my cheek, (my heart) I can share in their world.
Yet I struggle with this thought today. What if I don’t know someone is hurting? How can I see what He sees, how can my heart break for what breaks His?
As the days pass, my friend will go back to work in a very public forum. A place where hundreds of customers pass daily and most will never know what is going on in her world.
I don’t want to walk through life with blinders on. I want to catch the tears. I want to extend mercy, mercy like I have received. And yet I will never know all there is to know, I will never know what is happening in all the lives of people I see, but I can speak love and kindness to all I meet and then perhaps in doing so…I may receive a transfer of tears.