LAMENT 2

I am grateful for the contributions of Lament that have been written.
Putting words to our deep emotions is difficult; sharing those words with others is equally daunting. The surprising reality though, is that in our shared vulnerability we find not only solidarity, we also experience Christ’s very presence within and among us strengthening, comforting, leading us.

Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice.
~ Psalm 55:17

“...human beings need the strength that comes through shared sorrow. Self-sufficiency melts away in the face of catastrophe and loss. . . The church may be one of the few places left where norms of community life are still valued. When the church joins in the prayer of lament, each member is upheld, and each person’s sorrow matters to all.”*
~ Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, Pray Without Ceasing: Revitalizing Pastoral Care

“When the community joins in the lament, sanction is given for the expression of loss – the outpouring of emotion is legitimized in such a way as to provide for catharsis and then renewal.”**
~ Eugene Peterson, Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work
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Hugs before Masks
Placard poster
Vitriol shouted at a rally

Slogans mask a blinded mind
Blind to lies that distort reality

The truth is hugs can kill
The truth is hugs can create long haulers

A mask is a hug in a pandemic
A holy kiss of caring
not a servile submission
to the state

A mask signals the freedom
to love one's neighbor and oneself.
~ Graeme Davidson
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O God, my pain is too big, my truth too shameful, my rage too blinding.
I awake every morning, despairing that I must arise.
I’ve cried for relief that has never arrived.
I’ve sought other ways, far from the hope of the Kingdom of God.
I long to be set free.
I do not fear the shadow of death. The shadow of existence is what has smothered me with despair.
I grieve the loss of who I was. I mourn that innocent soul, not yet struck down with sorrow.
Yet, if I must live, I must believe You are there.
I must believe I am Your Beloved surrounded by Your care.
I must believe this tattered soul is worth fighting for. For have You not died for it?
- Kim Kakegamic
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LAMENT for the Loss of Normal

God of my life – the normalcy of life has disappeared
What I once counted on doing and having is gone
The only thing I can count on now is adaptation and change
I used to be able to plan and do
I used to be in control of my own schedule
Now that has all been upended
And I live each day not knowing how it will turn out

Give me back some sense of normalcy
Take me back to the way things used to be
Give me back my life as I knew it and loved it
Help me gain control of my life
Let life be familiar and normal once again

You are God who calls me to trust you
You are God who meets me in the wilderness
I remember when you called me to leave home
and invited me to new adventures, new ways of seeing
You are God who makes all things new, even me
You are God who is with me and for me
In the wilderness of my life you are forging a new path
I will give you thanks for each new day of possibility
~ Wilma Wiens

* Van Deusen Hunsinger, Deborah. Pray Without Ceasing: Revitalizing Pastoral Care. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 2006.
** Peterson, Eugene. Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1980.

Photo – photo of painting by Tim Steward, “Enveloped in Gold” 2017, Mixed Media on Paper; artwork was featured in Salt of the Earth: A Christian Seasons Calendar 2018-2019

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