The Greatest Donor

It’s summer and rerun time with my favorite TV shows. To watch something unseen, I’ve been watching several episodes of the old show, Monk. I never viewed this program when it originally ran. Perhaps, I feared Monk’s OCD character hitting too close to home. Though if you saw my office, you would never believe I lean in that direction.

Recently, in an episode, I viewed a very emotional scene. Ordinarily this drama comedy stays on the lighter side of life. However, the poignant scene I’m about to describe to you had me in tears. Unexpectedly, touching my life deeply.

The episode begins with Monk walking down a crowded sidewalk in the city. He bumps into a woman, turns to her and they briefly exchange glances as they apologize to one another. Monk, however, remains fixed on the woman who continues down the street. Feeling compelled he pursues her, but she slips away. The rest of the episode resolves around a murder mystery (the theme of the show) and Monk’s obsession to find this woman again, he learns, named Maria.

Fast forward now to the last few minutes of the show. Where at last Monk and Maria reconnect.

Maria: Do I know you?

Monk: I’ve been looking for you all night.

Maria: Why?

Monk: I don’t know.

Then Monk notices a date tattooed on her arm. He says to her, “That’s the day my wife died.”

Maria replies, “That’s the day I was reborn. I had a disease…I was going blind.”

Monk interjects, “Then you got a cornea transplant from Trudy.”

“Yes, Trudy Monk,” Maria tells him.

“My wife.” Monk softly responds. The man not fond of touching others, then moves closer to Maria’s face, a face with light tears now dripping down her cheeks. With his eyes firmly fixed on hers, he tenderly reaches out and takes his thumb and wipes away her tears. The tears from the eyes of the wife he still loves but has lost.

How did this hand to the tissue box scene touch my own life? To begin with, I immediately thought about how Christ became our donor. Laying down his life to give us eyes to see his grace and forgiveness. With the added promise of a whole new body one day. One never in need of replacement parts.

But what really got my attention in this heart-rending scene became the similarity of the act Monk displayed to the ones I know of Christ.

When Monk looks earnestly into the eyes of Maria, it reminds us of how God locks in on his compassion for us. Just like Hagar who named the Lord as “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). In her despair of life, she runs away from her mistress Sarai when treated poorly. But the angel of God finds her and delivers news to bring hope to Hagar. Later, Hagar despairs again as she and her son, Ishmael, get sent into the desert. In fear of dying, the Lord hears their cries and responds to their need.

Where else do we discover how God sees and values our tears?

The book of Job explodes with tears and suffering. “O earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God” (Job 16:18-20).

Job’s friends sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights and then took on the role of his accusers. Not true of God who never turns on us in our pain, who never brings false accusations against us, and who never grows weary of sitting with us. Even the best of friends can’t stay with us indefinitely, but Jesus can.

What about the woman in Luke chapter 7:36-50 who used her tears and hair to wipe the dusty feet of Jesus? What in this woman triggered enough tears for a foot washing? It was her sincere expression of love for Jesus and her deep need for forgiveness. Little did she realize as she wiped the dirt from Jesus’ feet, his love for her and his forgiveness were wiping away her sin. Can you recall the last time you cried, out of gratefulness for Christ’s forgiveness? Or felt such a deep love for the Lord, tears poured from your eyes?

I am a crier. I love how Psalm 56:8 describes how God values our tears that he saves them in a bottle. Some translations read he records them on a scroll. Who knows how many times the Lord supplies one more bottle for all my tears or rolls out another scroll to record each one? One day he’ll transition them all into victory and joy! When “he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces…” (Isaiah 25:8). I cling to this promise, maybe you do too.

The Bible never minimizes pain and suffering but adds one word to it. Temporary.

“Is everything sad going to become untrue?” Lord of the Rings. “The answer of Christianity to that question is—yes. Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.” Tim Keller, The Reason for God.

The greatest donor didn’t leave us when he ascended into heaven. He continues to donate his attention to our needs, his compassion over our suffering, his comforting Holy Spirit to our every hurt, his forgiveness for our offenses.

Jesus gently wipes away our tears in the darkest, most painful times of our lives. The Monk episode created a beautiful imagery for me to remember. Now, when I hurt, I envision the nail-pierced hands of Christ cradling my face. The hands of one who can empathize with my pain. With his eyes razor focused on mine, he gently wipes away my tears and reminds me, I love you and I’ve got you.

Our tears will keep flowing in personal loss and suffering, but we can live with the certainty that everything sad is becoming untrue! Do you live with that certainty?

If interested: The Monk episode I watched was Season 6, Episode 9.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top