My personal truth regarding automobiles is that the purpose of a car is to get me from here… to there. It doesn’t need to be fancy. I don’t need all the newest gadgets, nor do I want my car to actually do the driving. I’m pretty content with anything with four wheels (and yes, thank you, I can drive a “stick”). So when I found myself this past week sobbing after returning our Camry Hybrid to the dealer because the lease had expired… well, that suggested I needed a moment or two of introspection.
Was it the heated seats? The Bluetooth ability? The moonroof? Either I was getting soft on cars… or this represented something more.
We leased the car when we were living in the DC area and having a hybrid while driving the infamous beltway with all of its stops and starts made sense. With each tap of the brake my car actually MADE energy. I spent hours in that car getting nowhere, which meant leasing was a solid option. All those bells and whistles made for a lovely mobile office with great gas mileage.
Oh, the places you’ll go, quipped Dr. Seuss. Or not. This past year I’ve put hardly any miles on it. Perhaps those tears weren’t about a car?
We’ve all shed tears: tears for the memories of a previous life and tears for missed opportunities in a year of pandemic.
We’ve shed tears for those we’ve lost as well as what we’ve lost.
We’ve shed tears for a changed world.
We’ve shed tears as injustice after injustice against our siblings were laid bare, and we discovered how much we were a part of sustaining that evil.
We’ve shed tears as we’ve realized our communities will never be the same, and that those small things we’ve held precious are no longer available.
For all the weariness and grief of this year… tears have flowed.
So, yes. I cried for my car and all it represented. It’s not the silliest thing I ever done, nor the most profound. And I know that we, as the church, will be tearful over small things and large as this world continues to change. We’ll shed tears in the same way that we cried at the cross and join those who for centuries have wept at the tomb… wondering how life can continue and somehow forgetting that in order to be people of the resurrection at first there will be tears.
Easter morning dawns amidst that great unspeakable sadness.
Our tears, all our tears, are gone with the first whisper of the morning that Christ has risen. Risen indeed. Alleluia.