Sunday, May 03, 2009

Tears Are A Form Of Prayer

I wanted to weep again and again at Mass today.
Unexpected tears feel like both a gift and an inconvenience.
So rarely do they appear when I am alone.
Today they would have morphed into a snotty nose
and gulping sobs kind of weeping
so I quelled them and settled for tears welling up.
I wonder how God sees it when I stifle the Spirit so.

I was almost the whole kit and kaboodle at church today.
Sacristan, lector, altar server, usher and gift bearer.
That's what happens when there are only a handful present
and only one other person is brave enough to get out of the pew!
I don't think it takes bravery
but to some it does.

I have had intense issues with our current priest.
He's driven me around the bend on more than one occasion.
Then came a Sunday, a few months ago,
when I was ranting
all by my lonesome,
on the way home from church.
Listing every single one of his faults out loud.
He'd pulled a doozy that day
and I felt like we were in a cat and mouse game.
And he was the *&$^%$@ victor.
He didn't know we were in a game.
But I tell you, I was convinced of it.

And as the words of contempt spewed out of my mouth
bouncing off the windows of my empty car,
I saw myself in every single one of his faults.

I haven't been the same since.

I could no longer look with
something akin to hatred at him.
Instead, there welled up compassion
and I cut him some slack for being human.
And well, once there is even a sliver of compassion
one can never go back to venom
without a tremendous amount of effort.

Venom is a waste of energy.

I can just see myself holding up my hand
and asking to be excused from life momentarily
because I've used up all my spoons
hating another human being.

I've never been an altar server before.
As I assisted the priest today
I felt the tears welling up for the umpteenth time.
I don't know if I'll ever like the man
But he's no longer my enemy.

Today was one of those days
when I was overwhelmed
by the mercy of God.
What else can one do then
but say thank you?


Lisa said...


Kathy Lynne said...

and I've also heard it said that tears melt the ice around your heart...

Just Be Real said...

Sounds good to me.

Steve E. said...

I have been where you have day recently, I was part of the music ministry, and he asked me to take up the collection (I had never done that before) and I cleaned up the men's room after mass (that last one is a lie -grin!)

But just a few years ago, I would NEVER have gotten out of the bench. However, now I'll go out of my way to go across the church in fron tof 1,300 people to greet someone I have not seen for a long time.

About a year ago, Father took me aside and said that I was instrumental in helping to "bring the Parish together". Wow!

Daisy said...

Wow. Sometimes we get those glimpses through God's eyes, eh? Buechner says to pay special attention to those welling-up-tear times.

Good for you for getting up out of the pew. I think it takes guts, particularly the first times.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, just what I needed to hear (read).

Hugs, Gerry

Cat said...

Truth in this:Venom is a waste of energy.

Evelyn said...

I seem to be crying every time I'm in church lately..... somehow I think it must be a good, healing thing. (Eventually???)