Heart Warmers

The Tear Collector ©
by Diane Ronzino

Sooner or later we all cry.  Some of us can cry at the watching of an emotional movie, some of us not.  I encourage you in this: If you're going through a tough situation right now in your life, don't stop the tears from flowing. Allow yourself to cry it out.  Tears are healing, cleansing, and stress-relieving.  A good cry releases pent up, unhealthy emotions, thus releasing toxins in your body.  You always feel better after a long, hard cry.  Sometimes we feel we don't want to cry because we feel we will never stop.  It may feel that way, but it's not true.  You will and you will be better for it.

One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 56:8:
You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle.  Are they not in Your book?
God, our Father, collects all of our tears and puts them in His special bottle reserved just for our tears.  I have so many bottles in Heaven with my name on them, that they had to be recorded in God's book, like a card-catalog.   That is a precious, comforting thought.  That's how cared for I am.  That's how cared for you are.  So cared for, that our Father won't discard our tears.

Release those tears, fill those bottles. One day when we're in Heaven, maybe Jesus will show us our names in His book and then lead us to a room where we'll see shelves and shelves lined with our tear-filled bottles.  I can just picture Jesus explaining each tear to me - what it is for and what I was feeling at the moment of that tear; and I'll look up into His compassionate face and I will see a tear in His eye.   Because, just remembering what I went through causes Jesus to be full of empathy for me.

I wonder if there is a bottle marked "Jesus"?  There must be because Jesus cried.
A Hero's Welcome Home ©
by Diane Ronzino

My dear friend and brother in Christ, Vinnie, just went home to be with The LORD. He was in the hospital suffering from the ravages of chemotherapy overdose.  A few days before he passed we had a good laugh together, even in his weakened condition.  Vinnie told me that he was kind of complaining to The LORD because he was suffering so much.  He told The LORD, "I didn't expect my dying to be like this, LORD."  Vinnie then started to chuckle and said to me, "Diane, I heard The LORD say back to me, 'What do you want, a parade?!'"  Well, we laughed and laughed.  It was good.

A few days later I was to speak at Vinnie's wake.  As I stood in front of his casket, I briefly closed my eyes trying to gather my words.  In my mind I saw a parade and I couldn't help but smile.  The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1 that "we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses".  Vinnie's procession into Glory was like that of a parade, with all those who had gone before him cheering his entry.  It must have been a loud accolade, like a ticket-tape parade welcoming a hero home, and one he definitely deserved.

I can still see his smiling face!
The Stairwell's Secrets ©
by Diane Ronzino

A stairway leads you up or down, taking you from one place to another.  My stairway did that, but it was the landing in the middle of the wide, well-lit stairwell that really allowed me to go places.  That landing was my little sanctuary - my own little space - where my imagination birthed me a new family or a friend I could talk to.  I was still young enough for my imagination to be active.  But, active imaginations, somehow or another, infuriated my mother.  I learned to be quiet and secretive with my mind's images.

So, I would pause on that landing after slowly hopping from one step to another.  I would huddle in the corner allowing the walls to hug me close.  For a moment or two I could escape the muted yelling coming from my closed apartment.  If I allowed myself to really focus on sound, I chose to hear the TV from my grandparent's apartment below, as its voices seemed to bounce off the stairway walls.  Most of the time, I would turn into myself and whisper my conversations and my house playing, not focusing on up or down.  Once I closed the apartmentt door behind me, I allowed myself to be whisked away to another place.  I traveled a lot in those days, not really remembering at all where I went.

God provides.  He provided me a small avenue of escape from the dark, angry world called family.  He gave me daily reprieves as I came and went from one place to another, allowing me some softness in my young life.  

On moving day at age 6, I grieved deeply, and did so for years to come.  We left Queens for Long Island - apartment living for a house - leaving behind a safe haven, a soft spot in the harsh world of reality.  I never again lived in a home with such a large stairway, but God has replaced the need for such.  Instead, I feel His hug, His softness in a sometimes cold, hard world; and He forbids me not to use my imagination.  As a matter of fact, as an older adult, now I see He truly has gifted me with a creative imagination.  

My mother just didn't have eyes to see that it was a good thing.  

Copyrighted 2012 Diane Ronzino