Four years ago, Uri was still in Regina’s tummy, about the same size as the wild mulberries (or kuwa in Japanese) that we occasionally chance upon along pathways here in Saitama. Now a bouncy preschooler at three and a half, Uri has been crying a lot from his self-inflicted knee scrapes, running as a shinkansen (or bullet train) at his youchien. Once again, I find myself likewise nursing my own gash from four years back, when my dad yielded to cancer.

The first loss in our family was so sudden, as many cancers do, that it’s so hard to fight back tears even after four years.

Of a dear departed, I guess packing more years makes you cry less, but those well-meant prickly tears on occasional moments of longing and being downcast will always stay as part of life without a beloved. Like death and taxes, brokenness also seems to be certain in this world.

Author C.S. Lewis has a curious take on this sense of brokenness in the world:

“The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.'”

It does not, in any way, prove the existence of God, but it is truly a very good pointer of Heaven, with all this brokenness, injustice, evil.

But am I supposed to believe that Heaven is real just because I yearn for it?

The Bible offers proof for hope, the same way that Jesus, the miracle worker from Bethlehem, provided solid proof to a grieving Martha that He is God.

To Martha, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS? (John 11:25-26)” While she answered Jesus’ query in the affirmative, Martha may have had her doubt, which was probably why “stench” was her primary concern when Jesus ordered the removal of the stone at Lazarus’ tomb.

And doubt that was precisely what Jesus had come to dispel. “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him (John 11:14-15),” He previously told to His followers, as they were heading to Bethany.

And so it was, even after being dead for four days, Lazarus came back to life in the presence of many witnesses.

God has power over death. Jesus has proven this through Lazarus and His own resurrection, which resonates throughout the pages of history, and for this, the Christian hope is real and trustworthy.

God knows our tears, personally.

To our prickly tears, God promises that one day He himself will wipe away every tear, death will end, and mourning, or crying, or pain will be a thing of the past (Revelations 21:4).

The Master and Creator of the universe takes personal note of our pain, and promises to personally take them all away in due time. And to everyone who believes, that promise is sure and yours to claim.