“Lament is not despair. It is not whining. It is not a cry into a void. Lament is a cry directed to God. It is the cry of those who see the truth of the world’s deep wounds and the cost of seeking peace. It is the prayer of those who are deeply disturbed by the way things are. We are enjoined to learn to see and feel what the psalmists see and feel and to join our prayers with theirs.” *
Thank you to all who accepted my invitation to write a prayer of Lament. Those laments will appear in 3 posts on this blog. If you would like to join the voices of lament please send me your contribution and I will include it.
Reflecting on Ephesians 5:20 Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God even the Father.
Lord it’s hard to give thanks in times like these when life has been turned upside down- people are sick and dying and we live with restrictions on who we can see and where we can go or what we can buy. I know other generations have lived through World Wars and dealt with so much worse. We are just asked to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID. Such a simple thing and yet such a hardship for so many. Thank you, that despite our human frailty, You love us with an unconditional, overwhelming love. Thank you for Your love and all the wonderful blessings in our lives- open our eyes to see them and to see You at work in our lives.
~ Nettie Strople
A LAMENT for our Elderly Saints
God, our elderly saints are living in isolation.
They are separated from their families, from the people who remind them that they are loved.
The very measures put in place to keep them safe from the virus
Are causing suffering and sadness, loneliness and despair
Those who when they were younger gave much to their families and to their community,
Are now living alienated from all that reminds them of normal and stable and lovely.
You command us to honor our elders – yet when will you answer their cries of loneliness?
How long must they suffer?
How many must die alone?
Hear their cries and answer them!
Content them in the desolation of their loneliness.
Bring speedy, safe and efficient relief from the virus.
Give wisdom and knowledge and compassion to care-givers and administrators
Remind those who are ill yet continue to go out to stay home!
And those who don’t care – strike them with the virus so that they will learn!
Yet, I will remind myself of your compassion for the just and the unjust.
I will remember that you know these elderly saints from before they were born.
You know the number of hairs of their heads and you hold them in the palm of your hand.
I will trust you with their living and their dying.
You have promised to never leave us.
I trust that your promises are true.
~ Wilma Wiens
* Katongole, Emmanuel and Chris Rice. Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
Dear Wilma, thank you for sharing this lament. It is truly a courageous example of being real with God -- the authenticity without which no real intimacy can exist. It is especially courageous in that you, our pastor, model this honesty in your address to God -- not suppressing your anguish or anger, nor retreating behind a decorously pious front and hiding "unseemly" feelings, but trusting God enough to give Him everything we are, our pain and rage as much as our gratitude and praise, and let Him hold it all. It's a powerful example of trusting God enough to be completely raw, as the Psalmists were, and letting Him reach into our wounded hearts and renew our faith and courage.
Thank you Reena. I have found the cathartic experience of lament writing to be very freeing. It is only in truly naming my feelings and thots to God that I am able to reorient them to the truth of who and how God is.