Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next.
Frederick Buchner, Whistling in the Dark
I came across this quote a few weeks ago and have been pondering it since.
I am keen to be done with this transitioning phase that seems to have gone on for too long as I move from one ministry to another. It is painful and difficult and, though also filled with conviction and affirmation, I would just as soon be over it!
I often find tears in my eyes. And though, at times, they might not be surprising, at others,they are unpredictable and inconvenient. They are rarely around when I create space but always in the midst of activity.
When I contemplate Beuchner's words, I am struck most by the phrase " the secret of who you are".
It seems that this transition is about confronting a change in identity, moving from a role so wrapped up in a community to a more diverse, peripatetic role whose peculiarities I have not yet defined far less mastered. The sense of belonging that brought security seems eroded at every turn no matter how good a fit the new role is.
It feels as though I've responded to the summons of where I should go next but I'm still wrestling with the mystery of where I've come from and the lessons learned there. And doing all this alongside forging a new path, a new identity a new way of being in Christ.
But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
When Jesus tried to speak to the disciples of what lay ahead, of the road to Jerusalem and his suffering and death, they could not understand. The things of which Jesus spoke were beyond human understanding and foreign to all that they knew or could envisage.
Perhaps I should stop being surprised by the tears and continue forging the way of transition, a journey that won't be hurried, filled with tasks that can't be ignored, in the hope that, along the way, the mystery will be revealed. And give thanks for God's companionship on the road.