Monday, August 13, 2012

There, Little Girl, Don't Cry!

 James Whitcomb Riley has written a poem entitled “There, Little Girl, Don't Cry!” In the third stanza he pleads: “There, little girl, don't cry!/ They have broken your heart, I know, /And the rainbow gleams / Of your youthful dreams,/ Are things of the long ago.”

A bird with a broken wing, an animal with a broken leg, a man or woman with a broken heart will drop out of sight and retreat into deep shadow. What has broken your heart today: Cruelty? Failure? Unfaithfulness? Loss? Perhaps you’ve crept into the darkness to cry.

It’s good to cry, despite the poet’s admonition. “Tears are the only cure for weeping,” George MacDonald has said. A little crying does one good. Jesus wept and weeps with us. When your heart is broken his heart is broken as well. His heart aches for us when we mourn.

Our tears and brokenness attract our Lord’s attention. He understands our weary days, our troubled, sleepless nights. You are not alone: God is there, surrounding you with his compassion and love. He “is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).

But present comfort is not the final answer, for, as the poet goes on to say, “Heav'n holds all for which you sigh. / There, Little Girl, Don't Cry!”

All that we have ever loved or longed for awaits us in heaven. There will be no sorrow, no crying there, “for all these things will have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). There, God “will wipe every tear from our eyes.”

Have you thought of the familiarity and intimacy of that act? I keep a box of Kleenex in my study to hand to someone in tears, but I would never reach up and wipe those tears away. Only one very close to them would have that privilege; only one who loves them deeply would dare.

So cry little girl, but be blessed in your crying: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” 


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