Sunday, June 5, 2011

What I'm Learning

There are some things that you can't learn without having lived a little.  There are some things that on one hand I wish I didn't know (because understanding those things means I have had a hard experience), while on the other hand, I am glad to understand.

Today in church, the topic of the lesson was cultivating a positive attitude.  We discussed the many things that can affect our attitude, if we let it (This is not fair, or I don't deserve this, are a couple of thoughts I've had, for instance).  We then discussed ways we might counter those unvirtuous reactions of the carnal man.  The general idea was to train ourselves to see the positive, to count our blessings, and to write in our gratitude journals to come to our more virtuous selves.

Yes, yes.  I agree with all of this and have found it to be true in my life--I've even written about it here in this format.  However, I have learned something new in recent weeks.  I can be an optimistic and grateful person and still feel strong human emotions.  If I mourn or grieve the loss of a thing (in my case it is a baby, but one could just as easily grieve the loss of health, employment, a marriage or other sizable thing), I am not a sinful or ungrateful person.  It is okay to cry, to hurt, and to be knocked off your feet.  I can recognize my blessings--even the blessings surrounding her death--and still be sad.  There is a reason the two words received their own verse.  It needed to stand alone for us to see the magnitude of them.

Jesus wept.

Maybe he felt the sorrow of Lazerus' sisters.  Maybe he grieved the loss of his friend.  Certainly there could have been other reasons that our Savior shed tears.  One thing is certain:  Jesus, who never committed a sin, had a human emotion.  When he went to the tomb, Jesus didn't lecture about looking on the bright side and didn't jump into a jolly rendition of "My Favorite Things."  No, he wept because, though he was the Son of God, he was also born of a woman.

There is a time and a place for the lecture and the jolly song, but there is also a place for tears and sorrow--and I am grateful for that new understanding.


  1. Hear. Hear. That is a great understanding and you wrote it out well for the rest of us. Thank you.

  2. Excellent point, Emily. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is an excellent post and an important point! Thank you.

    ...and, am I the only one who enjoyed the mental image of the musical version of our Savior kicking up his sandaled heels and singing about bright copper kettles and warm wollen mittens...

    ...I know, I'm driving the bus.