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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Why Some Men Cry

Opey accidentally kills a bird with his new slingshot. His look of shock and dismay pierce my heart.  I look over my shoulder to see if I am alone.
My two-year-old son, Tucker, at the pool on the first day he could duck his head under the water and hold his breath. I’d drop pennies on the baby steps. He would “dive” under and bring them up. Once, twice … three times … four. Sputtering, gasping, grinning from ear to ear. “ Do it again, Daddy. Do it again! I am thankful in that crowded pool for my dark sunglasses.

I’m with my red headed kid brother in a movie theater
, “Dead Poet’s Society”. Prep school boys troubled but saved by the literature professor tenderly played by Robin Williams. He won’t give up on them. He manages to show them their inner beauty. Betrayed and falsely accused, he has been cast out by the powers that be. His students are confused. As he departs, thinking he has lost them, one boy stands on top of his desk and head high, hand to heart, intones clearly to the professor’s bowed, stooped and resigned back … “Captain my Captain!”  As each boy stands to his desk my well of emotion pours forth. I am glad it is dark. We have to sit for an uncomfortable time after the lights go up. We chuckle nervously.

My dear friend is ordained as a minister. Her father, a pastor all her life, speaks in the sanctuary where my satin clad babies were presented to the church. She sits before us in a chair bathed in the soft light of day cast through the stained glass. She seems so small there … so vulnerable. Each congregant makes their way down to touch her and whisper in her ear.  There’s her husband, then her children. Young and old walk down the aisle until her father in law, Henry … shaky on his cane … brave to even try, moves toward her. I am undone.

A writing class during an exercise. I remember the face of a dear and cherished woman whose career and good heart I revere. I have seen her recently gazing up at the cross. She is somewhere between here and another place. As I write and read of that vision of her rapture I am overwhelmed.

I’m not sure why some men cry and others don’t so much. I have heard that it has to do with our childhood wounds. What I do know is that we all see God in our different ways. Sometimes when I see him it’s a lot like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a coke. The reaction is sudden and I am near helpless.

I figure … in the end … it’s just another of God’s ways of keeping me humble.

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