I took W to one of these once, when he was too young to protest. I made sure he was anointed with oil because I wished beyond hope that he could be healed of his heart condition.
I went tonight to pray for healing for my self and a close family member who is ill. As soon as I sat down, tears began streaming down my face. I hadn't cried in quite a while, so I was surprised at this outpouring. I felt like an egg. A raw egg, that at first cannot be distinguished from a strong boiled egg, whose shell is deceptively sturdy, but, when cracked even a little, begans leaking and exposes the liquidity within. I was embarrassed as I could not help myself, but kept weeping without being able to control it.
As the service went on, I remembered that I have volunteered to take the Care ministry training at our church and work eventually as a care minister.
But how could I help someone when I could not even control my own tears?
I remembered some of the people that had helped me the most when I lost W. My close friends and family who cried with us at the hospital. My brother and sister, who cried with me on the phone when words just didn't come. The youth minister at our church, whose eyes were red from weeping as he helped us plan the funeral. Their tears gave our suffering a respect, in a way. They said, " I know this is a horrible thing, and that I can't make it better."
My tears help me stay in touch with my own inner compassion, keep me from growing the shell so thick that I discount the suffering of others because, after all, it happened to me, why not them. I remain open to caring. So they are a good thing.