Sadness Beyond Comfort:
Like Jesus to the Crows
Every counselor and pastor knows the experience. Someone is sad beyond comfort, and nothing you say or do can change their situation. All that you can do is be present to them in their disconsolate state. You are like a crow on the arms of Jesus as he lay dying. The key to being a good counselor or pastor is to accept this inability to comfort and to move past attempts to make them happier. It is to be loyal to them and their situation. The gift you offer, if it is any gift at all, is to be with them in their sadness beyond comfort.
Process theology adds that God is with them in this sadness, recognizing that, sometimes, God is sad beyond comfort, too. The image of an always-happy God, of a God beyond sadness, is blasphemous in its way. It makes a god of happiness. God, too, is like the crow on the arms of Jesus, unable to make him happy, but not leaving.
- Jay McDaniel, 10/4/2022