by the Rev. Charlie Dupree

I was always taught that there are a few ways that you might experience the presence of God . . . through laughter, through deep feelings of joy, through a sense of peace, and, even through tears. People have often said to me, “I don’t like to go to church. Church makes me cry.” They mean this, usually, in a way that indicates to me that church is a place where they really feel something. Something is tapped or pulled or nudged within them; this is usually when the tears come.

What is it about tears? Here’s what Frederick Buechner has to say about them . . .

“You never know what may cause tears. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music . . . a horse cantering across a meadow, the high-school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.

They are not telling you something about the secrets 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 you should go to next.”

Church often calls tears forth within me. My eyes can get wet at the singing of a hymn or watching a person stretch out her hands to take communion. It is the real-est place I know. So, if you’re going to cry, let it be in church. And feel God’s presence holding you, knowing you, and loving you.

See you in church,

Charlie+ (he/him)