“We can spend the better part of our lives attempting to construct the perfect personal environment, a kind of bubble that will insulate us against everything that is unpleasant. But sorrow is woven into the very texture of life. Pain, disappointment, depression, illness, bereavement, a sense of inadequacy in our work or our relationships…the list could go on and on…”
If the truth were told, all of us have been through a difficult patch in our lives. We tend to rank them. When the topic of the death of our daughter comes up, so often people will say that is the worst possible thing to happen. Yes, it was devastating. Hours, days, weeks, months were spent in tears. But I find it is not helpful to compare. Many very difficult events and situations can throw us off of our “game”. As I have grown in consciousness, I feel the pain of others more acutely. I am so thankful that I am not living in a war zone, like so many people are. My heart is going out to the people who have lost all they own, or the lives of friends or family in the fires, hurricanes and mudslides. And I ache for the families experiencing violence and tragic deaths of children, youth, or adults in our inner-city struggles. It is not just about loss of life. It can be loss of a marriage, loss of a job that allowed you to express your passion, loss of financial stability, or loss of trust in the honesty of fellow humans and institutions.
“Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted” – Matthew 5:4
Each of us has had, or will have, a time in our lives when brokenness rocked our very existence. Tears begin to flow and flow… Father Richard Rohr has a Daily Meditation available on his Center for Action and Contemplation website. I find his work very inspiring. Yesterday he was working with this bible verse about mourning. He suggests that, “…weeping is a natural and essential part of being human… If tears are a fact of life, they have several lessons to teach us… and will allow us to know God much better than ideas.”
Sorrow and Joy go together! Jesus’ life reflected this truth. The lives of our leaders over the ages reflect this truth. The multitude of everyday folks reflect this truth.
When we are down and at the end of our rope, we are less likely to think that we can live this life by determination and by the sweat of our own hands. We may finally recognize we’re not meant to do life all by ourselves. Life is meant to be full of love and peace and joy. As we despair, God, the Holy Spirit, the Source of Life, Divine Love – whatever you call it – is right there calling our name, calling us into a personal relationship, a friendship, offering guidance. The people we have loved that are on the other side of the veil are still with us. Their love continues without end. This team is the light that takes away the darkness. Our broken hearts hear and begin to heal. The old is gone, life begins anew.
It can be a long journey healing our broken hearts. But it is true, what we resist persists. What we face will erase. When we stop resisting – even the hardest of circumstances – hope returns. Progress may be slow but we are renewed and ready to help others with compassion, loving action, and love. We become the messengers that brings hope to the world.