THE THIRD ORDINANCE… The Eighth Sacrament
What I am thrusting into your mind I hope will not be looked upon as sacrilegious, but a new slant on an aging theology. Believe me, its taken a lot of thought to write this for publication. Read and weep…for the right reason of course.
I have come to believe there is a third Ordinance for Protestants, the eighth for Catholics.
I Believe it is the Ordinance/Sacrament of Tears.
The inception of the idea was benign. Wednesday a couple of weeks ago I discovered 9 leaks from my Florida home’s ceiling. Five complete strangers came within 30 minutes from a disaster recovery company sent by my insurance company. One gentleman about 40 looked around and saw that I lived alone. He spotted though numerous pictures.”Mr. Coates, you don’t get a lot of visitors”. My occasional housekeeper had not been gone long, so I took it that the abundance of work product on tables was the dead give away.
I began to weep.
He was right. My pain levels do keep me at home more these days. But there was evidence of unfinished tasks of a person with limited physical abilities. There I stood and streams of tears began to flow from my eyes. No, I wasn’t tired, or forlorn about the stained ceiling. I just began to cry. A near 61-year-old-man crying because a guy told me he saw I was very much alone. I don’t see my children very much anymore because of life. Much , much more, I don’t see my grandchildren nor my father as much anymore. It’s a huge house; and, I have a huge heart. I want it filled.
Yes, there is more. Much , much more, I have now realized I’m on borrowed time so to speak. I have to get with it. I have so many ideas and dreams yet unfilled. There is this one project I’m starting….
Well, lets just say I am happy to say I don’t have time to go to my funeral yet.
But there is more. I was at first embarrassed that I was in
tears, but then after several days, yes days, the embarrassment confirmed to my theological bending that there is a third Ordinance for Protestants, the eighth for Catholics.
The shortest verse in scripture is “Jesus Wept.”
He just received news of the death he might have prevented. Eventually He did a miracle after He wept.
I believe when a normal,sane, but sensitive person spontaneously begins to weep, it is sacred. The a miracle can happen. Once you come to as some would say, “to the end of yourself”, you might be humble enough to allow God, heh, even YOU, to allow something magnificent to happen. I believe sacred tears bring sacred messages to the conscience. The Holy Spirit works for eternity this side of Heaven to bring you to a Place.
That Place may be the thought of a recent lost loved one. It may well be that news out of the blue blew you over and you just began to weep. Possibly you became angry and out of an enormity of emotion came forth tears, and then a solitude. for whatever reason, the tears can be theologically from God. Then after a shivering of arms, face, hands, knees,and cold chills come a peace that, well, just can’t be understood; a peace that passes understanding.
The gentleman asked me after he saw I was in a distant distress, “Mr. Coates, apart from this crisis, may I come by and talk?”, he asked. I said, of course. Its been a few weeks. He may never come. People often are heroic in the moment and we say the most spiritual things…”I’m praying for you”….”God bless you”….”What can I do”.
Forget them. Yes, take it for a grain of salt. Just take a reasonable risk when the possible Sacrament of Tears happens and go somewhere inside of your self. Get with God. Not a minister, not a spouse, at first. Get within. Try remembering the taste of tears when you lost your first anything or anyone that meant the world to you. Remember that warm feeling that flooded you moments after you wept.
The do as Jesus did. Accomplish Something. Something miraculous. Something that would necessarily be unlike you. Accomplish the capital “S” Something. Stand up and notice you have just been in the Presence of the Almighty and He has chosen to use you. You of all people.
One more thing. Try to remember telling someone SILENTLY weeks, months, later that you know something about the sacred Ordinance or Sacrament of Tears….”You wept” will be the shortest verse that need to be quoted. You just might find yourself weeping with someone instead of promising them this Something is that God wants for and with you..