Lament is a gift to us from a good, wise, loving God and it provides us a language for our suffering. Lament helps us to lean into our pain rather than attempt to control or suppress it, so that in a time of grief or suffering, though we may feel like have lost our very lives, we don’t have to lose our souls as well. Instead, in the deepest, darkest place of our suffering, we discover we are not alone there.
We’ve put together these resources to help you fully engage with God and express your pain and struggle in the complexities of life.
‘What did the writers of the Bible do in times of grief, loss and suffering? What did they do with their pain? They did the most courageous thing of all – they prayed it. They prayed it all. The Psalmists in particular gave voice to doubt, confusion, anger and even hatred, forming them all as prayers. They are daring and indiscriminate prayers and their words can guide our lips to pray the prayers we never imagined ourselves praying. These prayers meet us in the loneliest and darkest places of our existence and keep us company as we walk through our own “dark night of the soul.”
Alain Emerson, Luminous Dark
Scripture: Psalm 6:1-7 ; Psalm 22:1-8 ; Job 30:24-29 in The Message translation
‘Christian lament is not simply complaint. Yes, it stares clear-eyed at awfulness and even wonders if God has gone…Yet at its fullest, biblical lament expresses sorrow over losing a world that was once good alongside a belief that it can be made good again. Lament isn’t giving up, it’s giving over. When we lift up our sorrow and our pain, we turn it over to the only one who can meet it: our God.’
Josh Larsen, Movies Are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings
Lament helps us to lean into and engage with that pain and suffering, rather than attempt to hide from it or control or fix it. It is a way that we may enter into solidarity with those suffering. And lament also helps us to discover that, though we may feel like the entire world is shaking, even in the deepest, darkest place of pain and suffering we are not alone there and our own faith and hope can remain anchored as we weep with the world around us.
Scripture: Jeremiah 9:1 ; Psalm 44:9-26