"My eyes are swollen from grief." --Psalm 6:7
Have you ever seen this? I did last night. I was sitting and doing my usual crossword puzzles as the clock rolled around to 10:30. At about that time Amy was met at the bottom of the steps by a face filled with terror and swollen with tears. The fact that it was Darby was extremely unnerving for me. I'm thinking, "What is happening at this time of night?" In mere seconds my mind raced through all of the scenarios that could have occurred. And then I heard one that hadn't even stumbled into the thought race, "I think something's wrong with Chester. He won't get up!"
For those of you who don't know, Chester is our soon-to-be 14-year old chocolate lab. He's been a family fixture since Christmas 2006. Also, for those of you who don't know, Darby is the animal caretaker of the house. Put these two things together and my heart sank, mostly for my little girl who I don't want to see in pain. Therefore, I got up from the couch, went out the back door, and saw a black shape in its usual spot in the backyard. I reached down and touched Chester's head and got no reaction. "Hey, buddy, you ready to come in and go to bed?" Slight movement. Good. He's not completely gone. So I scratched behind his ears, and gradually the old man decided it was worth raising his head into the cold night air and shaking off my ear-scratching. Then, with tail wagging and his usual puppy-like strut, Chester went to the house and into his kennel for the night. Relief to a young woman (and her father) who thought this night would end differently.
David, in Psalm 6, was in a place where he was hoping for a better ending than where he was right then. "I am weak. My bones are shaking; my whole being is shaken with terror. I am weary from my groaning; with my tears I dampen my pillow and drench my bed every night. My eyes are swollen from grief; they grow old because of all my enemies." Sounds like a bad place, doesn't it? There are people, maybe you, who are there today. Grief has come to you, and there is no relief in sight. All day you are tormented and at night you weep. As David says, the tears and lack of sleep cause you to see someone unrecognizable in the mirror, but David does not leave us there. THANKFULLY!
David has a way of spelling out his anguish, fear, and pain so we can see where he was, but then ALWAYS brings it back around to who could rescue him and do the same for us. Listen to these hope-filled words from the same man in the SAME Psalm,
"The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea for help;
the Lord accepts my prayer."
In those times of grief David reminds us that the Lord hears the sound of our weeping and our pleas for help. A great reminder on this Memorial Day where we grieve lost loved ones, but also all those who come to times where they grieve the loss children, parents, and, yes, even pets. If it hurts us and causes grief, our heavenly Father hears and cares.
I know this, because He cares about His children even more than this earthly father.