Home Communicator 12.14.21 – Advent Tears
It was a blustery winter morning. The wind increased and the temperature dropped as the outdoor funeral service for 96 year old Bob Van Klompenberg was about to begin. I didn’t know him well but I was envious of the twinkle in his eye. This beloved, engaging saint was a joy to know. With wind whipping through the Jamestown Cemetery and 50 or so people present huddled around the body of this soils expert, the pastor began to talk. His voice pierced the noisy wind and bitter cold through a microphone finding it hard to compete with the strength of the elements. With paper in hand, flipping about in the wind, Pastor Pierce offered hope in the midst of tears.
The tears caused me to pause. Here among the heavily clothed, ski capped and hood covered people there was a 2 year old, my grandson, my namesake, clinging tightly to his mother’s leg with tears in his eyes. His tears were from the cold, others had tears from the coldness of death that had taken Bob from us. Tears were hard to find that morning behind the protective clothing from brisk winter weather. But there is one who saw and knows them all. In Psalm 56:8 we read, “You keep track of my sorrows, you have collected my tears in your bottle, you have recorded each one in your book.” The Message Tears are worth something in God’s record. From the tears of this 2 year old to the tears of Bob’s wife, Ilah, God had a deep interest and account on that difficult morning.
Occasionally when I write it shows me truth in a way it never intended. So it was on the morning of December 6th 2021. We sang a song that shivering cold morning entitled “Come Home” and with shaking hands holding the words and music before us we sang,
And maybe there’s a mystery, in the way we are.
I don’t know the answer but I know it’s not too far.
Tell me there’s a victory, and we all play a small part.
The pieces come together from the end until the start.
I begin to see I’m supposed to be here with you.
(written by Hunter Van Klompenberg, Bob’s grandchild)
It was so good to be there that morning because it was there that I could see how our tears changed to joy knowing God “bottles” them up. In this Christmas season Jesus became so vividly human. Yes, there IS hope and we celebrate that hope in Jesus coming into human flesh. And “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) For those left behind, there will be tears, but Jesus understands and is there to provide comfort and hope.
(Bob has one grandchild at HCS – Ella Van Klompenberg in Grade 8 and two great-grandchildren at HCS – Charley Engbers in Grade 3 and Myles Engbers in Grade 1).
Lance Engbers, Hudsonville Christian Middle School Interim Principal