I remember being a kid and finding out that the shortest verse in the King James Bible was John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” I was fascinated with how short it was. I was a teenager when I realized the context, that Jesus was worried and heartbroken for people that they could not reach. The Beloved One was crying for their beloveds. Yet, sometimes people say that they are crying happy tears, not just being sad. I remember feeling that way when I graduated from high school, happy but also sad, crying in order to find the place of grace in between the two.
Today, twenty-six years and three graduate degrees later, I graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School, a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Chicago, Illinois. I did not cry. I laughed a fair bit, and worried a fair bit, ultimately deciding that I couldn’t break commencement, so it would be fine.The whole process reminded me of words from Pema Chodron:
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
Now, after having my path laid out, credit by credit, and requirement by requirement, I am in the wide open space of the thing that is next that has not yet come. Maybe that happens to you sometimes, too. What you knew has come apart, and nothing has come together. It’s all right.
Now is the time to work on what I know is right and to continue to wait, as a practice of faith, for things that have broken apart to come together.