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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Tears in a bottle

Beaconsfield is a small town in Tasmania’s north known for its gold, and made famous for the rescue of two men who were trapped down one of its mines. Near the entrance to the mine is a gift shop where one of the items for sale is a small bottle of gold leaf: finely hammered, suspended in water, and glittering in its 99.99% purity. So delicate and so precious. A nice keepsake and memorial to the men who worked the mine.

The memento reminded me of something in one of David’s songs (Psalm 56), penned when he fled from King Saul and was rejected by the Achish the Philistine king in whose house he had sought asylum. The magnitude of David’s grief is evident: deeply concerned for the welfare of his parents, cut off from his only true friend Jonathan, and separated from his young wife Michal. The man had nowhere to go. But he did have somewhere to look. And lifting his eyes to heaven, he writes these words: “You have put my tears in your bottle”.

None of our tears that are borne by great suffering are forgotten by God. To be sure, the petty ones borne out of self-pity are quickly wiped away. But the ones borne out of personal insult and isolation, and the salty ones borne out of great anxiety for others, are captured and kept and put in God’s bottle, for they are precious to him and personally remembered.

DM 26th January 2016

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