The House of Sadness


Recently, one of my ongoing projects has been peeling back layers of personal, church, and world history in order to better comprehend this world’s fallenness. I felt a certain compulsion about it. I needed to feel sadness about the many insults to God’s purpose and His image in man. I needed to feel sorrow about ways that I participate in those insults.

On a recent Sunday evening, I hit pause on the project. I thought, “Enough of this for now. I’m not feeling the compulsion.”

Was I done with exploring sadness? I don’t think so. It was just a rest. My heart still has chambers of ungodly anger that must be flooded instead with compassion. Like the Pharisees who despised the Lord of the Sabbath, I look for fault with His followers. I treasure offense at His disciples’ trespasses. Like the Pharisees, I need to understand what this means: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (see Matthew 12). Then, perhaps, I will not be so quick to condemn.

I had just finished writing this poem (and was pretty broken up by the process of writing it) when Susan came in and told me that an old friend — a GOOD and brilliant man — now has Alzheimer’s. My sadness turned to sobbing.

“Now rest, and weep,
And rest, and weep,
And rest, and weep
Some more.”

I can’t help but think that this season in the house of Sadness is what I should expect as a follower of Jesus. It’s on the path to becoming compassionate, like He is compassionate.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:3 ESV
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  1. Many a night, I have bad dreams.
    When I wake from one of these nightmares, I ask Tim to pray for me. How grateful my heart sings in knowing the Truth. Reality is Jesus. Someday the nightmares will cease as well as the evil that prevails in our day.

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