A radiant and gentle angel, from the heavens high,
Descended kindly to our world and hovered in the sky.
She let her beauty shine for man – alight with wisdom’s gleams;
But men were blind as deaf as dumb to the wonders of the scene.
She clipped her wings and lost her glow; descended to the sands.
Her bare feet touched the wave-worn beach – her book still in her hands.
She preached the holy scriptures though some meanings she forgot.
Her white robes still a bit too bright for men t’accept the thoughts.
She donned their robes; encased her feet. Her hair she let disheveled.
She dulled her seething intellect to meet them at their level.
She ‘scribed that book to parchments plain, but what a heavy cost –
Pretentious were their writing forms that much the depth was lost.
She walked towards the nearest town to share the final creeds.
Men were, before they glanced a word, suspicious of her deeds.
They felt perplexed; thus, it was wrong – dismissed unless explained.
She tried to wake that well of depth – soon knew it was in vain.
She’d left her glory in the sky; now lost upon the land.
Enlightened revelations she could no longer understand.
Now cursed is she, like fallen stars to starfish on the sand,
To walk the earth, amongst these fools, as just another man.
Sadness is perhaps our most profound reminder of our separateness from God.
Of all the noble human emotions, nothing illustrates better the chasm that exists between man and his Creator. If we reflect upon the causation of sadness, whether it be loss or feelings of intense separation, we cannot but be reminded of the limitedness of man in relation to the boundless love and healing grace of God. Nothing reminds us more of our ineptitude and failing than our powerlessness to stave off sadness, both in ourselves and in others, and nothing stands in starker contrast to His infinite goodness than our painful descent into continual despair and sadness.
The God we know basks in the eternal ether of all things possible, while man struggles to tread water and survive in an ocean of his own failings. While it is true that we possess the capacity to empathize, and even to a minor extent, to comfort…we do not, nor will we ever, have mastery over the prevention or mitigation of this painful human frailty. We cannot prevent others from causing grief and sadness, and worse yet, neither can we prevent ourselves from inflicting it, despite our best intentions. We can pray for the promise of healing, but we cannot prevent in the first place the tendency to cause.
Even in our closest union with God, we lack the power or the insight of pure love. We condition our compassion upon a human factoring of suffering…and in doing so, we continually miss the mark. In our most benevolent, the best we can do is provide the afflicted with compassion and understanding. We cannot remove the cause nor can we fully ameliorate the effect. In fact, because the closest we can come is to empathize, we often find ourselves likewise “saddened” even as we reach out to staunch to suffering of others.
Jesus, in his human manifestation, experienced and fully understood the debilitation of sadness. His temporal separation from the Father and ensuing grief was clearly manifest in the Garden of Gethsemane as in the deepest throes of isolation and sadness he called out for Peter to “stay with me this dark hour,” a request even his most loving apostle could not accord. Later, upon the cross, the experience of sadness and separation from God most closely reflected our own as he cried out, “My God, why hath thou forsaken me?” His weakness mirrored our own; his sadness a reflection of our own separation from God.