Standing up on a chair with my hands high over my head, I was putting folded clothes on the top shelf in my closet when Sorrow tapped me on the shoulder. Quickly, I put the clothes in their place, and stepped down off the chair, down from the high place. Kneeling on the floor, with tears streaming from my eyes, I asked Sorrow, “What have you come to tell me?”
Before it could speak, I did an inventory of my life. In this moment, it is wonderful it seems. My daughter is flourishing. My bills are ALL paid on time and more than the minimum balances. Tuesday, I leave for my first week long vacation since the divorce. Within a year, I will own my own house.
No. Not everything is spectacular. I love elements of my job, but not my job. I love as many people I work with as there are people who get on my last nerve. The evil that men do in the name of political agendas is causing more people to love harder and stronger than ever before. So why would Sorrow visit me now? Why is it here today?
“I welcome your lesson, Sorrow. I’m quieting myself so you can speak to me.”
“You never stop to mourn at the grave,” Sorrow says to me.
I scrunch my face trying to let the words sink in so they make sense.
“You never stop to acknowledge that things not turning out how you planned hurts your feelings or breaks your heart. You would not lower a casket and then not put dirt on top of it. But that is what you do when you are disappointed. You immediately flee the scene.
“No. You don’t physically run away, but you turn your back on the wound refusing to acknowledge it. You turn your face towards the ‘lesson’ like a good (insert any one of these labels – Faithful Christian or Sober Woman or Good Mom or Loving Family Member or Professional Career Woman). That strips you of being human. You deny your hurt and your heart and shift instantly to Plan B. You must think that your hurt is a sign to God that you are not surrender to His Will.
“That is a lie. God is well aware that you can still believe His way is best, even with a broken heart and tears in your eyes. If that was not true, then why would Jesus model the behavior to you in the garden? Why would that moment of humility wind up in the Bible for you to see?”
My tears have stopped so I can calmly listen as Sorrow continues to speak and teach me.
“Because you did not quietly honor Sorrow all along the course of life, I have to soundlessly creep up on you and invade your chores on a sweet Saturday morning. I must touch you on the shoulder to remind you that it is an illusion to be happy all the time. No one in their right mind is happy all the time. No one. And stop listening to people who make you feel like you should.
“You are not tough. You are strong. It’s not the same thing. Tough cannot be penetrated, not even by love. You are strong because your heart is wonderfully soft. It is easily touched. It is flexible. It is pliable. Even after all this time, it still leans with hope each time.
“It is your responsibility as owner of that heart, to let pause to grieve and mourn and rejoice and celebrate. Let it weep for what might have been so it can be clean and clear for what is yet to be. Care for and trust that heart of yours. Honor its wisdom and do not run from me. We help you to remember that it is ALWAYS wise to love. It is ALWAYS wise to hope. It is ALWAYS wise to expect the best. AND… it is ALWAYS wise to grieve.”
And just like that, Sorrow went away.