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Archive for February 23rd, 2020

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Ever cried in your pillow? How about punched something (a wall, a tree)? Ever stood in a forest and screamed at the top of your lungs? Or stared out the window, but your thoughts were so far away, you didn’t see anything? Ever sighed from a place so deep inside that you wondered if there was any air left in your body? Have you ever waved fists up in the air, while stating your sorrowful case before God?

Ever lamented?

lament … it is the feeling and/or expressing of regret or disappointment (Oxford dictionary). We all lament at some point.

I wrote this post eight years ago, though it originated from my experience, closer to fifteen years ago.

I was struggling to see, to dream even, how God might ever be able to penetrate into the heart of another. There was nothing within me, my vivid imagination, my belief in God’s redemption, that could give me hope for this person.

And so my soul began to groan in lament ...

I remember, ugly tears falling from my face, head shaking in disappointment and hopelessness when a song started reverberating through my memory.

How long O Lord ?

Though the Bible has ample examples of lamenting (the Psalms, Job, and, of course, Lamentations), it is not something that we often see, or do, in our churches. I am not sure that church is the place where lamenting should occur, but the absence of this practice (at church) could make people think that it is something that we should not do.

Often our Christian circles can be so … clean, happy, perfect …

UNREAL!

We are not living on the side of eternity, we are living lives in this temporal, sin-filled worlds, with sin-filled bodies and minds. We live lives of sorrow, disappointment, worry, sickness, heartbreak and agony. To live authentically does not mean we paste a smile on our faces and sing Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).

To lament is to pound our chests, and, with fountains falling from our faces, cry out,

“God, I hurt!”

“God, I don’t know where you are in this!”

“God, did you leave me? Because I feel so alone.”

“God, why did you allow my enemies to do this to me?”

“God, I am so lonely.”

“God, why did you …

forsake (abandon) me?”

David lamented.

Job lamented.

Jeremiah lamented.

Rachel lamented.

Jesus lamented.

To lament is to powerfully, passionately voice our sorrow, our agony. To lament is to pour out your heart. To lament is to be the most real we can be. To lament to to come to the end of our rope … resulting in the abdicating of power and ability to do it alone, anymore.

When we lament, we speak, we cry, we moan in the most pure and beautiful language to God’s ears. To lament is to be on our way to acknowledging that we cannot do it (life) without Him.

God can handle our laments … our God has broad shoulders, and he wants us to lay the weight of our world on them.

And so, this song, this Psalm (for the words of the song come from Psalm 13) has been playing in my mind again … not so much out of current lament, so much as a reminder of fifteen years ago, how I lamented from the deepest depths of my being …

and how I am now seeing God’s hand on what I had lamented as hopeless. He is giving “light to my eyes” as “I trust in his unfailing love.”

Lament will come again, perhaps just around the corner … but the one to whom I lament … his shoulders can carry the weight of our lament … he desires it from us.

Until then, even when the lament comes, I will remember that, “he has been good to me.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

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Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

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