Great God, Redeemer, Our Shelter in Joy and Sadness — I read today that “sadness is a is a cleanser, a clearing, a healthy rain needed in every emotional climate…. Rejoice in the rains… of sadness. See it as part of the larger cycles. But be careful when the snake of sadness feeds upon itself, resulting in a stuck or escalating sadness that feels like emotional quicksand.” (Bradford Keeney, Shamanic Christianity, on spiritualityandpractice.com)
People bring their sadness to me. They want me to take it away. They say, “Sister Alma Rose, y’all seem happy all the time. Tell me your secret.”
O God, you know how wrong they are. I tell them, “I am not happy all the time. Who could be happy all the time when there is suffering all around? I serve where I can, I pray where I can’t.”
Sometimes I am sad. Never do I despair. Only you, God, can see around the corners. So I ask “What if?” only when I am creating, never when I am thinking about the past or contemplating the future. I have no guilt, no regrets, no worries. You have offered to take them, by your grace. Why should I refuse such a gift?
People bring their worries to me. They say, “I pray, and God doesn’t answer.” I tell them,
Prayer’s like planting vegetable seeds.
You poke them in the ground in spring
and pull the weeds that would surround
and choke them as they germinate. In
short, you have to nourish them with
food and water; then you wait, but not
so long, it only seems that way. Be patient;
soon the strongest grow and
flower. Then a nubbin of zucchini , pepper,
bean, or pumpkin peeks out from the
foliage, and you feel like it’s your
birthday. Woe to any cheeky rabbit
who perceives a meal in store and
tries to steal your marvelous romaine
before it’s ready to be harvested.
Some will fail, some won’t come up at
all, but they enrich the soil to nurture
seeds you plant another season.
If the seeds don’t grow the way you think
they should, is that a reason to believe that
planting seeds won’t do you
— from Unfamiliar Territory, LifeIsPoetry.net
Sadness is one of your great gifts, I praise you for it, God. Sadness is filling, like molasses bread. It ain’t birthday cake, it ain’t strawberry fondue… but it ain’t emptiness, like depression or despair.
And like molasses bread, sadness, too shall pass. Amen.
Most of the time we cry for the things which do not cry for us. —Rohit Sharma
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Read about Sister Alma Rose in The Ancients, Part 1: Daddy Pete