We might find it a ridiculous notion to enter into our sadness, for what advantage could it possibly avail to us? We are forgiven for protecting ourselves from the pain of the sadness we have experienced, or do experience. Entering intentionally into our sadness is the practice best done when the sadness has long been dealt with. Then we are able to consider it with the benefit of perspective. Yet most of us are still afraid of journeying with our sadness.
But sadness can be a beautiful thing. A case in point is music: I think of the song, The Lonely Shepherd in the pan flute, and it tears my heart in sadness that overwhelms me to tears. There is the sadness of God in the fact of our sadness; God’s love made manifest that has, as yet, found itself unrealised in this broken world. What rends God’s heart rends ours, also.
After the rawness of our sadness has been dealt with, God connects with us with ourselves in our sadness and within our sadness we are made real people.
An experience of listening to a sad piece of music elucidates much depth of our person to the thickness of our true souls. Sometimes we don’t know how much sadness there is until sadness strikes. The reality is always bigger than we first imagine.
There is a range in sadness: it has breadth and depth about it. It is voluminous and much bigger than we can contain, but there is also safety in the size of sadness, that we may undergo the therapy of God in these moments bereft of response. Being bereft of response is precisely the point; we cannot control such a thing so we might as well surrender, and in surrender is acceptance.
When we are happy, remembrances of sadness provide us a cosy warmth, especially if we had the wisdom and the spiritual fortune to deal with it in the first place. But if we didn't have the wisdom or the spiritual fortune to deal with it in the first place it’s not the end of the matter. God shows us much in our sadness if we go there without fear, and where we go with God we ought not carry fear.
As we enter intentionally into our sadness God shows us things we would not ordinarily contemplate. Our imaginations are expanded and we are given vision of many things we could not possibly see visually.
God connects with us with ourselves in our sadness and within our sadness we are made real people. Sadness gives us a depth of emotional experience; a dimension of reality we are otherwise robbed of without it.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.