Healing at the lake, Part 2, by Karen Johnson, Hershey, PA

But God wipes away our tears

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

I invite you to come back with me to the dock by the lake. The sun is dancing off the rippled surface, and the air is just hot enough to make the cool water inviting. I turn around and, with total abandon, fling out my arms and fall backward into the lake. As the water welcomes and envelops me, Jesus gives a loud whoop and dives in beside me. We swim and frolic in the amazing creation that is water. As I float on my back, I delight in the warm sun on my face and am caught by the wonder of the green trees on the shore contrasting with the clear blue sky.

A fog rolls in from the land, dark and sinister, and I suddenly find myself on the dock, wrapped in a wet towel, dripping, cold, and frightened. Jesus pulls himself up onto the dock and, with a smile, takes my hand. As we head up the slope towards the house, he leads me over to a stream I was never aware of before. He invites me to sit with him beside the brook. He puts his arm around me with what I think is a blanket, but then I realize that I am fully clothed and warm and dry. Even my hair is dry!

Shutterstock: Volnnata

As we sit in the warm sun, we wrap our arms around our knees and lean into each other as we laugh at the water tumbling over the rocks. “I really love where the deeper water flows smoothly over the rocks, too,” I say. “It makes me want to touch it. It’s like the smooth black stone in the rough sidewalk that I always stop to rub my foot over.” Jesus soaks in my delight at his cleverness in giving even a little stream bed such wonderful variety.

Soon it’s time to go. Jesus pulls me to my feet, and we head up the slope, hand in hand, our arms swinging between us. As we approach the house, a fog like a swarm of bees rushes towards us. Jesus angles his body so that he absorbs the onslaught, and the swarm dissipates into the air. Knowing trouble is waiting for us, Jesus gives me a cheeky grin and a wink.

I find myself at the table, enduring an unending harangue about how horrible I am to have come inside late, but Jesus is in the chair next to me, sitting close in solidarity with me. As the barrage of words overwhelms me, he pulls me onto his lap and starts whispering in my ear about how he loves me and how much fun he had playing in the water with me and how delighted he is by my tender heart.

“I don’t condemn you,” he says. His words soothe me so that I drift off to sleep, curled against his chest. I awaken when I’m instructed to make sandwiches for lunch. I hop off Jesus’s lap. He again takes my hand and asks, “How can I help?” We go together into the kitchen. He knows how much I love working with other people in the kitchen!

As we spread slices of bread across the countertop and mix up tuna salad, our shoulders bump. We laugh as we remember what a fun morning we had. We replay the vision of the sun on the water and the trees against the sky. We delight in the lush green grass of the lawn and the flowering trees outside the kitchen window. We remember the brook as it tripped and fell over stones on its way.

“What about the others?” I ask. “I’m so sad for the pain they feel.”

“Don’t worry,” Jesus comforts me. “I’ve got them. You don’t have to fix them. I’m big enough to love them too. I don’t even have to leave you in order to take care of them. I’m holding each of you. You couldn’t see it, but I gave gifts to them at the table while you slept on my lap. I let your mom know that you were sheltered from the pain of her words, even as she felt powerless to stop them. That comforted her soul. Your dad was reassured that someone bigger and stronger than either of you was there to protect the child he loved. He could rest in my strength.”

“Thank you for caring for all of us,” I say. “Thank you for a lovely morning, and for bringing the joy of the lake into the house, to the table, and into the kitchen. Thank you for delighting in all the beauty with me. Thank you for a wonderful weekend at the lake.”

With a deep sense of peace, we get in the car together and drive away.

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