Those who sow in tears…

At least half the readers of this blog will have completed the quotation in their minds in nano seconds.

I was at the new church today – and not long into the sermon it happened again. The tears were pouring down my cheeks. The kind lady sitting next to me, observing, placed an entire pack of tissues down next to me, unobtrusively and in total silence – a model of a response. I hope she did not read my reaction as sorrow though I fear she did. I was not even moved by the overt subject matter of the very good sermon on the stilling of trouble in our own lives. What had happened is something which has very rarely happened since I moved – the sermon somehow enabled me to find myself there – it opened up the reading – in this case I was in the boat with the disciples. And as so often for me, it was all totally real. And inevitably it moved me to floods of tears. What I really wanted next (oh shame on me) was not a Eucharist, but a quiet room, endless reference books and a roll of loo paper for sobbing into.

Whenever the story picks me up like this I end in tears. In fact I begin in tears. I have no idea how to explain this to others: ‘You know I was sobbing all through the service, well, I wasn’t unhappy or resolving issues, not in any ordinary way, anyhow, but the story took me with it, and when I am really in the story I nearly always am in tears. For me that place is so deeply emotional I weep from sheer excess of feeling.’ I mean it sounds nuts.

And burkas are frowned on. So I suppose I could sit near totally different people each time, in the hope they think it was just that week I was weeping. Or I could sit in one place so only a few people know. I really really do not want to avoid finding I am in the story. And yes I would love to be able to be in the story and not weep but I have no idea how to do it.

But I will complete the quotation for any who happen not to know it. Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.

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3 responses to “Those who sow in tears…

  1. what a relief.

    just sit with the kind lady-of-the-kleenex, and tell her not to worry about you.

    When I was at Rugby and beginning to consider ordination, one of the signs of what was happening was that whenever I got to church (real church, not school chapel) I cried through the whole thing. At least you wait for the sermon. I would get caught at the collect for purity…

  2. rosemaryhannah

    It is most striking that he stands there in a flat calm and says : “Why are you afraid?” Not ‘Why were you afraid?’ – because if they had been alarmed before they were downright terrified now – and small blame.

    Sadly I spent the rest of the afternoon struggling with lose ends and missing persons (who need dates and a few words) in the Uni library, and will spend tomorrow at home on the same and the last essays to be reviewed so they can be posted on Tuesday.

    Furthermore my Greek testament is still packed, and so is Young and the on line Greek takes forever to load with dial up (oh the suffering). Which makes it hard to do a study of the use of the present tense in Mark (IIRC he uses it most of the time)

    I am an idiot though. But you are right – today was a huge relief.

    Could you email me how to put a creative commons widgetity thingy on my blog?

  3. I am glad you are enjoying the cathedral services.

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