Through Tears We See
For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.
I’ve been thinking about community a lot this week: how my son returned from the recent high school youth service trip fortified by new connections to his youth group community of teens and adults, how he and his fellow confirmands are getting ready to enter the community of this church in a new and intentional way, and how my family is contemplating the impact of leaving our known community to venture into a new one.
But mostly this week, I’ve been thinking about community where it exists in the Monday through Friday realm, the place where God hides in the everyday. Last Sunday, on Mother’s Day, one of the teachers I hired 2 years ago was struck by a car and killed in Cambridge. She was 31 years old and experiencing many firsts of her adult life. She had moved to Massachusetts and had begun an intentional process of constructing community for herself – in several yoga studios where she fueled her interest in mindfulness and the mind/body connection, at a nearby gym, and with new roommates. But her deepest roots of community happened at my school. There, she found a place for her intellectual passions but also the soil where rich, meaningful relationships took root and flourished. In the four days since her death at this writing, the presence of God in our midst could not be clearer. I remember Mary Luti’s written words that “through tears we see.” That has been particularly true this week as Molly’s mother came to the school to sit in the place where Molly felt so at home. With tears shed together, with stories from students and colleagues, Molly’s presence was apparent but so was the presence of the Holy Spirit. I certainly saw it. The everyday moments of sharing and love happen inside a faith community, of course, but God finds a way to be everywhere. Sometimes we are not even aware of that presence until the moment tears flow and we can see.
So, I look at our church covenant again and I think about how its words extend beyond just our congregation. In my daily Monday through Friday week, I think how I can work to “develop in all people a consciousness of their relations and duties to God and to each other.” I apply these ideas to the covenant of purpose at my workplace: people who are united not “by shared credentials and background, but by [our] free and voluntary entrance” into the shared covenant of creating caring, inquiring students who strive to make a difference in the world. And the covenant of spirit we enter into as we build community.
Dear God, keep the grief-stricken in your care so that through their tears they can see the community of Christ in their midst.