The ACU campus is in grief. On Friday an ACU bus carrying 16 passengers from our Agriculture Department--twelve students, three faculty members and one faculty spouse--crashed south of Abilene as the group was traveling to a children's home for a weekend mission trip. Many were injured and some remain in the hospital in critical condition. ACU student Anabel Reid was killed. She was 19.
Unfolding details can be followed at this website.
Last week I was reading Psalm 56. It contains a beautiful image in verse eight. From the New Jerusalem translation:
You yourself have counted up my sorrow,I'm aware that the bible speaks of a New Heaven and a New Earth where there will be no more crying, where God will wipe every tear from our eyes.
collect my tears in your wineskin.
I don't, however, find that vision all that comforting. Yes, crying will one day cease. But what about today? What about these tears? What about all the tears we shed before we get to heaven?
Are they noticed? Wasted? Lost?
I don't know the answers to those questions. But Psalm 56.8 speaks to my lament, my feeling that the cosmos is indifferent to our suffering. The psalmist says no tear falls to earth unnoticed. None are lost, wasted or forgotten in the winds of time. Each one is counted and collected in the wineskin of God.