Smiling market friends, Boyce Farmer's Market
Yesterday as I sat in church, I was flooded by tears. They flowed out of me from a geiser just under my skin. They streamed out leaving me a bit perplexed over the quantity and over the fact that they didn't come from a place of sorrow nor joy. It seemed like I was an open vessel........vulnerably open to expressing what I was receiving. It's difficult to find the words to articulate it, except perhaps my sensitivities were heightened to flood stage while my heart was filled with gratitude. I wasn't expecting the intensity of those feelings bubbling up, but there was absolutely no way of stopping them. I didn't try. Safe under the majestic ceiling pitch of the old church, surrounded by the walls which have absorbed many stories, I let go of the controls.
Its a bit disconcerting to be a person who can let the tears flow so effusively whenever I am touched by a moment. When the moment happens to be in public, well it adds another flavour to the experience. Tears are misunderstood by an onlooker. Automatically, we tend to think that they represent pain from grief or mourning and that crying is always a weeping. Rather, they can be a communitative cleansing, a decluttering of the accumulative aches as well as the softened relaxation of the body and soul awakening to something only the heart sees.
The service was poignant. It brought forward a chance to recognize the gifts we have all around us and to feel a sense of love and belonging especially when one is moving through a new passage in one's life. Gratitude felt fills the caverns inside us with joy. It pushes out the sadness. It awakens us to possibilities. It leaves us sensing our internal tributaries flowing in and out with kindness. It was a awakening affirmation of giving and receiving thanks, of remembering, of recognizing life's joyful harvest.
I had my head down during most of the service listening while envisioning the myriad of blessings in my personal life. I tried on occasion to put a halt to the tears. I was running out of kleenex! I wanted to be able to focus with clarity on the music, the words, the scripture. But, there was no way of stopping them. Clarity came from inside. What was spoken at the service seeped in through my pores settling in the emptied places where the tears had once resided.
At one point, right in the middle of the sermon, I lifted my head up and at the same moment the angle of the sunlight filtering through the beautiful stained glass windows high up above me reached the spot where I was sitting. Front and centre. The light warmed the top of my head as a welcome to look up. When I did, it bathed my face with a glow that pulled me right into it's healing. The light reflected through the coloured glass, left me with a gift of radiance I can only describe as grace. I can't believe how timely it was and how the air thinned all around me. I took several deep long breaths.
I prayed. I sat quietly listening to the congregation all around me recite the creed, letting their expressive words be mine. I gave thanks over and over.... in silent thoughts to God who guides us through the perplexities of an awakened life. Yesterday, the Sunday of Thanksgiving, I let the tears flow, like a river......... cleansing away the perplexities, emptying those overflowing soulcups, leaving me with space for receiving the vitality of Grace.