Some gifts speak with a depth beyond the reach of words.

Our son’s fatal diagnosis had thrust us into terrifying darkness. Each day was saturated in tears as we stumbled toward Eli’s birth and death. The Psalms that once seemed foreign or figurative had become our reality.

“I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief.” (Psalm 6)

“My tears have been my food day and night.” (Psalm 42)

“My eye grows dim through sorrow.” (Psalm 88)

Anguish was suffocating us and we felt painfully alone. But as death tightened its grip on our fragile family, those close to us never let us go. Our loved ones surrounded us with fierce and unrelenting compassion. These handkerchiefs are just one example of how they whispered hope to our souls in the midst of the storm. Embroidered with the precious name of our son, they came along with the promise from another Psalm.

“You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.“ (Psalm 56)

This gift turned our tear-filled eyes to the promises that felt impossible to believe.

It proclaimed that our weeping was not being wasted or ignored.

It reminded us that we were not alone in our agony.

It comforted us that we were not the only ones grieving the loss of our son.

And it pointed us to our Savior who weeps with us in our sorrow.

Compassion requires the courage–and sometimes, the creativity–to speak little while refusing to be silent. As Tim Keller says, “The people more like Jesus find themselves pulled into the grief of other people who are hurting.”

This is the love of our King and his church, to “weep with those who weep.”