If you could put love in a jar, and store it on a shelf, what would it look like?
Today, I was at the drug store picking up a prescription and looking over the Valentine's Cards trying to choose the special one for Ted and one for my son Corey. The pink and red cards lined the shelf with the shiny-foiled hearts, the sparkly hearts, the pastel hearts and the puffy hearts. Yes, I picked two, to give tomorrow to my two loves. Thursday night, I also purchased some Dove chocolates to give to the kids I work with at school. (Just what ADHD kids need…chocolate). My roses are trimmed down, so no blooms until probably early April. And, guess what? I have never been to a Victoria Secret store. (They really don't keep much a secret there). So, are these things some of the symbols we associate with Valentine's Day?
Psalms 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of Joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
If I could put Love in a jar, it wouldn't be confetti hearts, or chocolate kisses, or rose petals. It would be my tears. The tears would not lose form, but gather together to form a picture. There would be tears of youth: the tears of a baby in need, of a child who now requires stitches, of a middle school girl after loosing her beloved pet, of a nine year old laying on her bed after VBS and asking Jesus into her heart. Collected tears of a high schooler insecure about everything having to do with boys, and the tears of regret when you know you have disappointed your parents. For the first time, I would experience a heavier, thicker tear...dark...the tears of loss and saying goodbye to a cousin, a grandmother.
Time for a new layer, a joyful layer of tears. These ones sparkle. The tears of my mother holding me to her breast, my mother's same tears as I held my own son to mine. Tears of my father weeping in the garage after I arrived at home, (way before cell phones) after several hours of not knowing where I was. My father again several years down the line, with glistening eyes, reassuring me He had Jesus in his heart. Silver tears of joy as "Sweet Caroline” (my parents favorite song) played as they danced at their surprise 25th Wedding anniversary. These top off that rich layer.
The layers continue with my own family. Tears of hope, excitement, victory, reward, Tears of new life, pregnancy, birth, awe-struck wonder at the beautiful, needy little miracle in your arms. Tears at the t-ball game, tears at the soccer games, tears getting the sand out of all those tender places, tears from the snow inside the shoes, tears from the needle that hurts so much and the doctor who says it won't hurt much. Tears when a brother holds his new brother for the first time, tears from the sticker bush trampled on in the middle of the night chasing down your love-struck pooch. Tears sitting in the principals office, tears of frustration, fear, anger and exhaustion. Tears of pain.
Time for a new layer. The tear when your son asks if the baby in your tummy has Jesus in his heart, and when that same baby in your tummy, one day asks you to pray with him on the way home from church to ask Jesus to come into his heart. Tears of Joy when you realize God is ministering to your husband through song in such a special way and he begins to share his spiritual side with you, a special intimacy begins, only created by God.
The layers continue. More of those dark tears, ashen gray tears left over from a fire, tears reflecting blue ink from pages and pages of journal notebooks, pages stained and smeared with some of those tears. Tears captured in the jar from God sent prayers of restoration and healing. Surrounding those are more tears of Joy, answered prayer tears and friendship tears.
The tears of loss do not remain on top, they infuse throughout, like a special ribbon in a tapestry, tying the tears together. When the jar is opened...the joyful tears shout. They shout loud Hallelujahs to the Lord, Hallelujah for these tears are not wasted, they indeed serve a purpose. They are sovereign tears, tears in which to use to help others, tears that have allowed me to grow, to seek His will, tears of Love, gathered together in a jar, the lid barely able to contain...Oh, and the picture these tears are forming? ...A True Love picture of a cross and an empty tomb. The tears spill out, and I pray for the Harvest to come.