I have a friend that with each passing year becomes dearer and dearer to me. That is not what makes her friendship exceptional. We all have friendships of various sizes and shapes...meaning they are fluid. I learned long ago that different depths, different purposes and different seasons of life will always play a role in who is in our lives and how much their life touches ours.
This morning as I sat beside my friend, listening about her travels to Haiti and the mission God has given her there, we both became teary...again.
A year ago, we were teary as she described the brokenness of soul that comes from seeing abject poverty, desolation and the destruction of a sin-filled world. Today, I was honored to tear up as I listened to her joy over orphan cuddles, the faith of a child and the passion of a Jesus-believing people whose joy is truly found in the Lord...not their circumstances.
Later, as I processed our conversation and reflected on my tears, I recognized that the last few times she and I have chatted we have found ourselves teary. Literally, the last four conversations that I can remember with her, we have both cried.
Tears of joy. Tears of pain. Tears over the brokenness of sin. Tears of laughter. Tears of God's redemption. And tears over the excitement and promise of what His Spirit is calling us to.
What I realized is this:
If we continue to gather together through the years and we are not only blessed with longevity, but with the continued grace of sharing God with each other...by the time we are 80, we'll probably just sit beside each other, pat one another's hands and weep. Words will be impossible at this rate.
I chuckled to myself at the thought of two grannies sitting at the local coffee shop saying nothing, just nodding and smiling as the tears flow forth.
And just as quickly as this thought came to mind the Holy Spirit spoke this to my soul:
"That's because you're both learning the language of tears. I can speak that language too...so no words will be necessary."
And that promise gave me a hope and a future, because I know one day we'll both have the immeasurable pleasure of our Brother-King wiping away those tears and delighting in the friendship He cultivated in our hearts at the precise time that we needed it.
I know why God assures us that all of our tears will be wiped away. This life is hard. He wants us to know it will not always be this way.
But today...and maybe only today...I'm sort of hoping He misses a few of them. Otherwise, some day when I gather around The Table with my friend (over coffee, I'm sure!), we'll have to learn how to speak to each other all over again.