This week I need to stop for Sorrow. These last few days, post-resurrection days, have been heavy days for many in my circles, and I do not think they are taking the time to fully grieve. I do not think they have decided it is OK to stop for Sorrow. They are going to “soldier on.” They are engaged in the important work of the church. There are challenges which need adaptation, and there are people (other people) who need them more than they need time for themselves. There are deadlines, due dates, and time cards which need fulfilling.
They are strong people, people who are tough enough to bear their own burdens in silence, with a grin, and an uptilted chin. Maybe for them keeping busy and being needed is more comforting than sitting by the doorposts in dust and ashes.
But the wise know we all have to make time for Sorrow. Otherwise it will bleed grey into the colors of our lives. It will hang on our backpacks and slow our steps. It will steal heat and warmth from us, causing us to live nurturing the slow burn of disappointment and rage.
So, this week, the problems of the world can roll along their way without my regard. Instead, I am sitting still with Sorrow, with my friend whose husband went to the hospital this week. I am singing songs with Sorrow, for my friend whose dream died rather than being born. I am learning lament from Sorrow, for my colleague who had a death in her family. I am tossing pebbles into the pool with Sorrow, for the ones whose hard work has only led to discouragement and frustrating dead ends. Sorrow and I are painting with sand for those who have spent the last two weeks recovering from crippling and life-threatening ills.
I offer this post to them, my friends, and to you if you need it, along with this small gift:
A Parable On Modern Life from Anthony De Mello’s The Song of the Bird
The animals met in assembly and began
to complain that humans were always
taking things away from them.
“They take my milk,” said the cow.
“They take my eggs,” said the hen.
“They take my flesh for bacon,” said the hog.
“They hunt me for my oil,” said the whale.
Finally the snail spoke. “I have something
they would certainly take away from me
if they could. Something they want
more than anything else.
I have TIME.”
You have all the time in the world, if you would give it to yourself. What’s stopping you?