Heritage of Sorrow

I am convinced that one of the main reasons we detest tears, sorrow and lament is because we’ve adopted a cardboard copy of the true gospel message.

When Christ came, He was (in part) missed by many because they were looking for a King who would save them from their physical misery and oppression under Rome. When He offered them the keys to a Kingdom not of this world, a Kingdom that would fill their hearts and souls but not necessarily their bellies, many turned away.

Our tears remind folks that while many in North America (especially) live a life that is relatively peaceful, abundant and overflowing with material blessings, bad things happen.

As a matter of fact, bad things happen with no explanation, no earthly remedy and no way through but through.

Who wants to be reminded of that if your life is so lovely you don’t have to be?

It’s an odd thing. Jesus wept. Job wept. David wept. Jeremiah wept. They did it openly. Their weeping became a matter of public record. Their weeping sanctioned by inclusion in our Holy Scriptures, a continuing and reliable witness that weeping has an honored place in the life of faith.

But just try it yourself. Even, maybe especially, in church where these tear-soaked Scriptures are provided to shape our souls and form our behavior. Before you know it a half-dozen men and women surround you with handkerchiefs, murmuring reassurances, telling you that it is going to be alright, intent on helping you to ‘get over it.’

Why are Christians, of all people, embarrassed by tears, uneasy in the presence of sorrow, unpracticed in the language of lament? It certainly is not a biblical heritage, for virtually all our ancestors in the faith were thoroughly ‘acquainted with grief.’ And our Savior was, as everyone knows, ‘a Man of Sorrows.’

~Eugene Patterson


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

2 thoughts on “Heritage of Sorrow”

  1. In my sorrowful tears I am more often than not appreciative of the souls who surround me with quiet companionship. Theirs is the presence which calms me.
    I am aware that there are other souls around me who are really trying their best with their reassurances….unfortunately it makes me feel guilty for making them feel so concerned. It usually halts what would probably have been a cathartic release leaving a sort of “lump” with no where for it to go….I find I quickly try to “pull myself together.”
    I have found my parish community taking my lead with this with great love and patience. I never cease to be amazed how far they have travelled on this journey of bereavement by suicide with us. Luke’s death was a great impact on our parish community and the two Catholic schools he attended, having known him all his life. I also find it a comfort if anyone shares my sorrows, especially when I see their tears are not for themselves but in recognition of the pain Luke must have been in and now ours.
    Outside of our parish community in the secular world, people find the sorrowful tears much harder to deal with.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What a beautiful gift God has given you in your own parish! I’m glad they are supportive and understanding. May this upcoming season be one in which God meets every need of your heart and reminds you in ways you don’t expect that He sees you and is walking with you. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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