That was my Penance tonight, after Confession.
I left the Confessional with tears, as I usually do. And I felt wonderful.
I can’t imagine anything more sad than NOT being able to have a good cry.
Crying is good for you. Humility is good for you.
The salt washes our guilt clean.
I had texted my Dad earlier, telling him I was in the back of the church and wearing my dark green vest. I hadn’t found him anywhere.
That had been 40 minutes ago.
I was getting anxious, because he had responded that he was on his way– and he’s never late. If anything, he’s 10 minutes early. He lives maybe 10 minutes away.
My Dad is 70. A very fit and active 70, but still.
Had something happened to him on the way? I was beginning to fidget, restless in line.
I texted him again– “Still coming?”
I kept glancing behind me, to the doors of the church. Searching for his tall frame to come in.
And I turned forward, to see him standing right in front of me in line– two people ahead. I had been so wrapped up in worry that I couldn’t see what was right ahead of me… my own father.
He smiled his gentle smile. Relief flooded my heart.
He went in and emerged soon after, knelt in a pew. After mine, I joined him. We sat side by side. That’s a moment I know I’ll cherish forever.
Just that quiet moment, of sitting by my father in church after Confession. Of the relief of knowing he was there all along.
It’s a lot like how we feel about God.
We spend all this time searching for God– for “signs” of him. Is he with us? Will he talk to us?
But whether we see him or not, he is always there to support us– quietly. Just like my father, always there.