|" And the angel of the LORD came again a second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you." ~ today's Mass reading|
I'm standing as the above scripture is read with tears streaming down my face. I've been crying since the opening song and the altar boys are looking my way with furrowed brows and then glancing over at their dad who is trying, via hand signals, to get them to stop staring at me. Their eyes dart between us like they're following a ping pong game while I bend down to grab another tissue and blow my nose. When you're barely a dozen people in total at church it's hard to blow one's nose discreetly.
An image of the bumper sticker "Honk if you love Jesus" flashes through my mind and I wish for a moment that I had one I could raise just high enough for the boys to see as an explanation for my behaviour. The thought almost takes me into that panicky state where laughter and sobs do the same job.
You have no idea how relieved I am that my sense of humour is surfacing. I remember once going so long without laughter that it sounded like breaking shards of glass in my ears when I finally laughed.
I came to church extra early to sit in the quiet, to ready the altar, to go over the scripture readings. Normally I am the lector every Sunday. I slung my purse in the pew and reached for the missal. I didn't read very far when an involuntary sharp intake of breath escaped my lips. Tears sprang up as I read the above scripture and I knew I just couldn't read it out loud today. While I am comfortable with my own tears, especially in response to scripture, it would be unkind to others for me to stand there trying to proclaim God's word while weeping uncontrollably.
As a handful of women came into the sanctuary they stopped to talk with me and graciously stepped in to take my place.
Eventually my tears subsided and I arose and ate.