I was reading in Revelation 21:1-4 this morning as part of the my daily "Life Journal" reading and came across this odd little passage. It says that there is a new heaven and a new earth (that's good the old earth is not working out so well). It says that the dwelling of God will be with people. I like this thought and, as a Christian, I already believe the dwelling of God the Holy Spirit is within the hearts and lives of every believer. It says "and God will wipe every tear from their eyes." I read that and all I can hear is Tom Hanks character in "A League of Their Own" complaining to the umpire "there's no crying in Baseball!" Wait, there's no crying in heaven! How can there be tears in heaven?
Most of us think of heaven as a place of complete and absolute bliss and most of us also tend to see tears as a sign of sorrow and/or mourning. I see something else here that moves me. I have seen in my 52 years and in my 35 + years of walking with Jesus that joy, unmitigated, unimagined, unexpected joy often leaks out of my eyeballs. Could it be that God is not wiping tears of sorrow and grief but tears of joy? Could it be that this is one last unthinkable expression of how gracious, forgiving, loving and awesome the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ really is?
C.S. Lewis' titled his autobiography Surprised by Joy. What a great title! I think I will title mine Overwhelmed by Joy. I am always open to and looking for surprises but when I find myself in the loving, forgiving, presence of the living God I am undone, overwhelmed, and totally surprised by the impact of being surrounded by joy. I have a long way to go and am still quite the miserable sinner but I am learning to live into Joy, even when it leaks out my eyeballs.