Last night, my oldest daughter was feeling sad. She was hurting for a friend who she wishes she could help more. Her heart is so big and we talked through it a lot, figured out what she could do and what she just had to pray about and trust God with.
Then I decided to try to distract her, asking if she wanted to watch tv with me but she was still too sad so I asked if she wanted to be distracted with the latest controversial article I happened upon through social media. As she read it, she was frustrated by this article which was saying that the number of girls allowed in the math and sciences should be capped. This got her thoroughly distracted, outraged and angered that someone could write this.
But then she said some insightful and convicting words.
‘It’s easier to be mad than sad.’
I think this is so true. I know my kids will sometimes come home and pick a fight with me over something that made them sad at school. And I confess I all too often try to escape my sadness.
I just started reading a book called ‘No More Faking Fine’ by Esther Fleece and she talks about how our culture, specifically the Christian culture, doesn’t value lament enough. She says ‘Scripture doesn’t tell us to pretend we’re peaceful when we’re not, act like everything is fine when it’s not, and do everything we can to suppress our sorrow.’
I wonder sometimes if our suppressed sorrow comes out in our quick tempered responses – on the road, on social media, and in our homes. I know I’m guilty at times. I want to learn to do sorrow better and to learn how to sit with others in their sorrow better.