A Bright Sadness

The next topic in my diving deep blog series is replacing unhealthy thoughts with healthy ones. Before I write about healthy thoughts, I am pausing to reflect on the unhealthy events of the past two weeks. Today my thoughts are dark and sad.

I believe her. It took a lot of courage to come forward. She had no reason to lie about what happened at a party 36 years ago. It saddens me that people ridicule and vilify her when she tried to do the right thing for the country.

Sometimes it seems like the wicked always win. When you believe in truth, it’s discouraging to see powerful men bury it. When you love justice, it’s discouraging to see powerful people thwart it. When you love mercy, it’s painful to see fellow citizens mercilessly attack a woman who made herself vulnerable.

The man chosen to sit on the highest court is already drunk with power. The ends do not justify the means. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?

I lift my eyes to the Higher Court, to the arbiter of justice and mercy. Every person who perverts truth and justice in the pursuit of power will be held accountable to God.

So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. – Matthew 10:26

When I read Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward, a Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, I was intrigued by his chapter on A Bright Sadness. A bright sadness is Rohr’s description of the quality of delightful older people who have the capacity to hold both the good and the bad “creatively and with less anxiety” than those who have not reached that level of spiritual maturity.

I am trying desperately in these dark times to achieve that bright sadness. Deep pain and intense joy can coexist. I feel them both: sorrow for the broken world I live in and the joy and hope of the Lord.

I take refuge in the Lord, the one who examines each of us and knows what’s in our hearts. For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice. Someday I will see his face.

Psalm 11

In the Lord I take refuge.
    How then can you say to me:
    “Flee like a bird to your mountain.
For look, the wicked bend their bows;
    they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
    at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are being destroyed,
    what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
    his eyes examine them.
The Lord examines the righteous,
    but the wicked, those who love violence,
    he hates with a passion.
On the wicked he will rain
    fiery coals and burning sulfur;
    a scorching wind will be their lot.

For the Lord is righteous,
    he loves justice;
    the upright will see his face.


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