Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crying in Church

As an adult I find myself crying in church and I never have a handkerchief. Neither does my husband. (I confess I have a weakness for men who can easily tie things on the tops of cars and hand me a clean handkerchief when I need one -- maybe I will marry one of those guys in my next life).

Other than church I hardly ever cry, but crying got me started going back to church (Faith Journal: First Entry) and it has followed me into my pew.

At first I though it was just the stress of being mother to a growing family. When I came to church in those early years I would sit in a grateful daze. It was just so peaceful -- just sitting -- with the two little lala's in the back somewhere playing with the other baby Unitarians. The words and songs would just wash over me.

If I shut my eyes I got the same feeling I had when I was a child and we used to drive to Mt. Hood to go skiing. The car would be packed with gear and family, with parents, sibs and me there were eight. If I was lucky I would get a seat near a window and lean against my puffy ski jacket wadded up against the door as a pillow. I would be in and out of sleep, listening to the conversations in the car while the Oregon woods flashed by on either side. Every once in a while a vine maple would fill the window with a green, clean light as it fluttered in unselfconscious beauty. Those vine maples gave me a shiver; on a sunny day they glowed in among the dark woods.

The crying would come because I would relax into the space of church and then something would reach me like those vine maples. A story of pain would make it to my heart, and as open as I was, I would cry.

It still happens all the time. Now it is often a story about someone in my church community who I've known for a long time. Or maybe the choir sings a song that reminds me of something. There are a million different triggers but they reach me because of a certain receptivity that I have when I am there. The same story or song doesn't have the same power anywhere else.

3 comments:

goodwolve said...

I cry too, but then I cry at Kodak commercials and Oprah. I never thought of myself as a crier, but I guess I am.

TxCoChic said...

Hi. I cry too, but sometimes I just can't stop. It's often when the sermon or a song or a scripture is something that just hits me like God it trying to tell me specifically something that week, and I'm so shocked and humbled by it that I just start crying and often can't stop (no matter how much I try to refocus on soemthing else).

I'm going thru menopause so I guess the hormones don't help! LOL! The bad part is that I am so embarassed to have others see me with a red eyes and nose that it makes me too embarassed to go back to church...so then I just don't go. Then I feel guilty for not going, and it becomes like a vicious cycle. I'm hoping someone might have some advice for me. Any advice?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem of crying in church. I cry everytime I go, to the point where I'm considering not going anymore. I've been doing it for 10 years and I'm tired of being embarassed. I need help to STOP. I can't seem to stop. When I think about it, the only time I really cry is in church.