As I served communion yesterday my tears began to flow, and as second service attenders saw, continued through the pastoral prayer. I was not surprised at my swell of emotion as we bid Erin and family good-bye, nor do I mind public tears, for they speak a universal language and express what words cannot.
Many of us were feeling the same heart tug and have tried to ‘ward off’ the finality of saying good-bye to a woman- warrior who has served us well. The tears you cried, or the ones you held back, but felt, were testimony that you care. Change is hard, and any change, no matter what the circumstance, is accompanied by loss. We will experience loss in Erin’s absence, but she too will experience loss as she embraces a new and exciting opportunity…. And it’s Okay.
In Psalm 56 David speaks of God keeping his “tears in a bottle”. I don’t think heaven is lined with apothecary jars of tears, but I do think the reference is about remembrance, and the importance of us remembering what moved us to tears – for we to quickly want to ‘move on’ before we have allowed our self to experience the emotion of the moment. God remembers, God takes note, God cares – that’s what the bottles are about.
I don’t know about you, but after a good cry I find that my energy can shift, and new perspective come. As we acknowledge loss, soon we can shift to a place of hope for the future and see new opportunities before us.
None of us know what is in store for Saint Andrew as we seek a new pastor, but we can be assured that God has taken note, God will remember and God cares, so much so that even our tears are treasures.
Thanks, Lord for caring, for consoling and for bringing great hope as we stick together in this transition.
Pam is a clinical social worker, grandmother of 8, aficionado of pickle-ball, prefers the water over land and is thrilled to be married to Mary O’Reilly.