I used to be ashamed at the tears squeezing out the corners of my eyes when I walked up to take communion. I used to think I was too much removed from those summer camp experiences where tears and emotions seemed more appropriate. I used to think getting teary-eyed at the communion table would reveal some of the messy layers of my life I try to keep hidden – the less tidy and more sinful layers.
Sometimes I still try to blink away the emotion. I’ll try to focus on something other than the weight of my eternal destiny and the Savior who stepped in to change my course. Tonight, I let the tears slip down as I walked up the aisle.
I sang along to “Jesus Paid it All” in a soft murmur, believing every word because sin had left a crimson stain but He washed it white as snow.
And that’s a miracle.
It’s okay to get emotional when unbelievable things happen and it’s okay to have that emotion on a weekly basis. Because my salvation doesn’t make any sense.
When I take the bread and drink the wine, proclaiming Christ’s death until He comes again, I am believing that His death was sufficient to cover my sin. I am believing Christ as my substitute and that He ransomed my soul from the pit of emptiness by putting Himself inside that pit.
It isn’t a long walk between the wooden pews to the front of the church, but it’s long enough. The upright bass, piano, and saxophones accompanied my reflection and the tears were persistent.
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
There’s no good reason for this weak child to find or be found, but God called my heart out of darkness into light. And so the short walk before I rip off the bread and drink the wine from the cup is full of ways I’m not worthy, ways I’m overwhelmed by God’s gift.
My tears may sound like nonsense, but I suppose to my heart it is the opposite. I am not sad for my salvation, just overwhelmed by it – by the bigness of it and the unlikeliness of it.
The walk back to my wooden pew after that little feast is always a beautiful celebration. I am always breathing deep sighs and lifting up my chin because as weighty as that communion dinner is, His grace is weightier still. Anything I may have brought up with me – shame or guilt or fear or doubt – He already covered in the sacrifice on the cross and I am free of it.
I get weepy at communion. It’s just a thing that happens every Sunday. Sometimes I try to hide it and blink it away, but other times I let those little tears roll because communion is a an emotional encounter.