It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of everyone,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
This is not at all against those who have a sunny disposition and to whom the glass is always half full, never half empty. In fact, humankind and all of us are blessed by such people. But this is to acknowledge that we live in a sorrow full, broken existence and world.
I am more than weary and suspicious of “the good life” or “the dream.” Either can be good depending on what you mean. And it’s not like God doesn’t give us richly all things for our enjoyment. I enjoy my cup, I should say cups of coffee, and mostly classical music, and so much is enjoyable in this life. Getting home after a hard day of work, and even being partly in one’s element in the work itself. But if we’re not careful, we can be forgetful, maybe somehow in denial, and not attentive to the struggles and hurt around us. That is not good, actually not good even for us, and certainly not for those around us.
We lament over so much, with the accompanying mourning along with actual weeping that takes place. In that space we begin to sense something of God’s presence, healing and help. As we look to God’s answer in Christ not only to mend our own brokenness, but also to heal the woundedness of our loved ones, of those around us, yes, of the entire world. In and through Jesus.