We all carry The Sadness within us.
I used to think I was the only one who felt The Sadness – at least, I felt it more than other people. ‘How,’ I reasoned, ‘could people walk around with all this inside them and not say something? How could they not scream?’
But we don’t. We just walk around with The Sadness inside, like a huge parasite monster and we politely ignore. We don’t bother anyone. We don’t rock the boat.
So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about The Sadness.
When I started, slowly, tentatively, cautiously and hesitatingly talking about The Sadness, I found that almost everyone lives with it. All the people I know, who I study with and work with and talk with and worship with, is carrying The Sadness around within them.
What does your Sadness look like? Where does it come from? Because I’ve found out two important things about The Sadness: everyone’s Sadness looks different. But everyone’s Sadness is also the same.
The Sadness wasn’t there in the beginning. When God created the world, there was nothing bad or evil or broken. Nothing was wrong and everything was right.
Even with the whole world to and play in and work in and live in, we wanted more. So we rejected God and his good world and let sin in. When sin entered, so did The Sadness.
From now on, people walked around carrying this burden. People lived knowing that the world wasn’t right and that something was missing. The Sadness became a fatal inheritance, passed down from generation to generation.
But there was a turning point. A victory. Jesus came into the world to intervene. He came and he lived and walked and breathed as a human. The amazing part is, because he was fully human, he felt everything we felt. Jesus felt The Sadness. He lived through it’s agonizing grip, even in the face of death. But more than living through it, he beat it. Jesus came and he died and he rose again to prove sin and death and The Sadness do not have the last word and will not reign supreme in the world forever.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is a gap. An overlap. A delay between Jesus’ victory and when he will come again and The Sadness will be felt no more. This might seem like an error or mistake but it’s not. It’s intentional – it’s so as many people can know the good news, the joy and the victory of Jesus before the world is undone and made right.
That’s the future. But what about now? Living with The Sadness? That’s the other thing I have learnt about The Sadness: when you talk about it, it shrinks. Or at least, it hurts less. It’s like a huge big shadow: when you shine a light on it it can’t survive.
So here I am. Talking about The Sadness. Finding people you trust and can be honest with is the key. You don’t need to bare the dark details of your Sadness to everyone, but you can’t keep it locked inside either. It will destroy you if you do that.
While we are here, waiting for The Sadness to be overturned, we can’t wait alone. Sharing The Sadness helps, because your own Sadness shrinks, but more importantly because you can help other people with their Sadness. Hearing all the ways The Sadness presents can help put your own Sadness into perspective, and it can help you feel less alone.
The Sadness has not won and can not win, because Jesus has already won. The Sadness is not shameful or to be hidden – that is where it finds it strength. The Sadness is something we all live with, while we wait for Jesus to return.