To know sorrow is to know loss. Sorrow represents one of the most complex human emotions because it’s a sadness tinged with beauty and joy. We are sorrowful because we miss what was once, or could have been wonderful. We remember the joy but are simultaneously aware of its absence.
I think of Eve, leaving the Garden, unable to ever return.
I’m driving in my car, remembering lost things, people, lost experiences, places. I’m trying desperately to get out of the sorrow. Maybe I could exercise or distract myself somehow. Besides, the day was nearly over, and I hadn’t had one moment of flair.
This sorrow was overtaking any chance of flair.
And then I wondered: What if the sorrow is the flair?
Just because it’s a negative emotion doesn’t mean it’s not extraordinary and full of the presence of God. There’s a theology behind sorrow that tells me something about myself. I inherit sorrow as part of the Fall. I’m that figure looking back at the East Gate of Eden. And isn’t that curse accompanied by hope? Doesn’t God promise a way to rejoice in sorrow? Isn’t he called the Comforter in Sorrow? Aren’t Christians described as “sorrowful yet always rejoicing?” How can this be?
Is our coming joy dependent upon our present sorrow?
When I’m sorrowful, I let my heart break apart so God can enter and heal. Sorrow accompanies me–a true companion–that reminds me what I have lost but also what will one day be restored–in God’s way and in God’s time. It’s a beautiful reminder of an usual form of flair.