No Time to be Sad

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”- Jesus in Matthew 5:4 I found it disturbing that when I "googled" for an image of tears, there is not one image of a man crying.This is the age of superficiality. It is the age of skimming the surface of our lives without the notice of what is below the waterline.We are busy. We live fast and we are over-extended. There is so much going on above the waterline, how will we ever find the time to explore what is below the waterline? Just how does one stop and allow sadness to undo us when we are spinning all the plates of life, money, work and stress?Busy people send text messages when someone dies. There is no time to bake a pie. There is no time to give the hug that says more than words can ever communicate. We “Like” something on social media when we what we really want to say is that we don’t like it at all that you may be in a coma in the hospital and near your last breath. But a “like” or a text seems to do.[tweetthis]We do not mourn. We do not lament. We do not grieve. We have forgotten how to allow our sad hearts to bubble up to our overly made up external appearances.[/tweetthis] In Jewish culture, when someone died, people dressed in black for a whole year. That seems so endless—perhaps even ridiculous. We have parties and cookouts to attend. We have things to do; people to see and places to go.Yet in the midst of all of this living we try to do, Jesus turns the world upside down when he says, something very good will come from mourning that will in fact, bless you. I have to admit that sometimes, many of the teachings of Jesus seem like he is speaking in a foreign language—like Chinese. It seems so way out to say that there is a blessing that will come when we take the time to mourn. Is it Chinese?This painting shows the act of mourning but notice the man--perhaps the father who is torn over is mourning. What is this saying?[tweetthis]When we take the time to allow our sad hearts to catch up with our breathless lifestyle we soon see that we are addicted to pleasure.[/tweetthis] Ours is the age is numbing pain, not entering it. Yet, Jesus calls us to not only enter pain but to realize that when we enter pain—either our own or someone else’s that a sheer, unadulterated comforted will be ours. Jesus is calling us to enter pain, not try to go around it and more, he says, by entering pain, we assuage it—or God does.There is no escaping suffering. Sooner or later it is going to bite us all on the butt and drop us to our knees. When we mourn this; when we slow down and recognize that suffering is one of the great ties that bind us all together as humans, then we stand on level ground. There are no hierarchy’s in pain. We all stand low; kneel low and beg low, don’t we?This past year, my own family has been baptized in the cesspool of pain. The death of a child—our grandson broke us. Some people texted us. All the texts made us more sad. Can I just tell you that texting or the use of social media is probably not the best form of entering someone’s pain. When my father died, someone who I thought knew better sent a text while I was putting my suit on to take my father’s body to the grave. Rather than be comforted, I was outraged. His text broke the frozen grief in my heart. I wanted to text back, “I don’t need your text. I need you!” But like so many times, I swallowed that grief only to see if morph into a distancing and emotional estrangement today—years is something even the church does not know how to do anymore. In our mega-ness, funerals are now happening in side rooms or no room at all. They are relegated to businesses that make a lot of money when we are most vulnerable. Some churches are so concerned with the lost, they have forgotten those who are lost in their grief.  For many, the state of the church is worthy of mourning and lamenting.This saddens me and sickens me. I mourn about our society. I mourn about so much that seems to be happening so quickly in our country. [tweetthis]I mourn that we seem to have lost our way and I am wondering---if not mourning-- that we may never find our way again and like Rome, perish and soon. I mourn that.[/tweetthis]I mourn that so many of the folks I know are now the unchurched—a label once thought only reserved for those who never went to church. Now, I am seeing more don’t then do. I mourn that.I mourn over a lion that was killed this week. I mourn over hearing the words of a Medical doctor employed by Planned Parenthood choosing to use the words, “crush” when it comes to the skill that is now implemented in an abortion. I mourn that.I mourn that my own children cannot live in the same community and have Sunday dinner’s together. I mourn that often we live in different countries, not counties. For me, I mourn that we cannot get together enough. We never will. Times have changed. We will not be there for the birth’s of our cousins; not be able to celebrate anniversaries; not able to light candles or eat sliced, ruby red watermelon on the 4th of July. I mourn that.I mourn that my wife at 60 is having to work through the childhood issues of being raised in a Boarding School in Africa—that childhood issues become adult issues. I mourn that.I mourn that at my age I have found no way to slow time down. I only am a witness now of it's speed. I mourn this deeply. And with this mourning comes the realization that for me, one day soon, time will itself stop and I will pass like every other mortal life passes from this earth. I mourn this because I have loved my life.I mourn that I can’t call my Mom and ask her about what Dr. Oz (her favorite show) said on his TV show every day. She died. I miss her still. I mourn that. I don't know what Dr. Oz says anymore about anything. Does he ever tell us how healthy it is to mourn?There are so many things to mourn if we stop and and enter whatever it is that is happening---there is a deeper perspective. And this deeper perspective makes us love life, nourish life and protect life with every fiber in our body and soul.  When we get things "out" something else comes "in" and this is what Jesus and all the Biblical writers called--peace.  To get things out is to mourn whether it is the giving out of a tear, a groan, a sigh or a blog.I have never found any better words than these to help us understand the power of mourning:  [tweetthis]When life is heavy and hard to take, Go off by yourself, Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions; Wait for hope to appear. Don’t’ run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Lamentations 3:28-30[/tweetthis] (I have been living in the Beatitudes of Jesus for a year and am just now blogging about the insights, gold and comfort I am finding in them.)