Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is Sorrow Better than Laughter?

King Solomon said, “sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:3. Jesus said, “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.

In what sense are we blessed? Shortly after Micah died, a picked up an issue of a local business magazine. In that particular issue, the magazine was listing the earnings of the top executives in the area. The magazine listed those executives who, in the opinion of the authors, were “underpaid” and those who were “overpaid. “ Before Micah died, I would have been interested in this article. But it did not take long for me to lose interest. In fact, the more I thought about this article, the more I was repulsed by the inconsequential nature of the entire subject.

In the end (and in this sense, I mean the real end), who really cares about being overpaid or underpaid? Who cares about deadlines, savings accounts and the stock market? The death of your son—your future, your energy, your love, your desire, your hope, your dream—puts life into perspective. Does being overpaid or underpaid, having a big house, salary or car really matter, in the end? How much of my life has been spent on inconsequential matters? Trial by fire refocuses one’s attention on breathing, eating, loving, marriage, family. On life. On eternity.

Among other things, a “sad face” is good for the heart because the alternative—anxiety about the “here and now” --- is not good for the heart. Our “sad faces” have opened my eyes to the inconsequential matters in my life and focused my attention on eternity.


  1. thank you for writing that! it's so well put! having lost our son also.. i think about this a lot.. but thank you for reminding me!

  2. i wanted to tell you about this i'm not sure if you have heard of this lady, rachel.. or seen her talk. as now she is with the Lord, but i often still go back and read her journal or listen to her talk. like your blog post- it puts life in perspective for me!