Lamenting

A lament is a song or poem expressing intense sorrow or grief.  The Creator has given us lamenting as a tool to express deep personal sorrow and grief.   Laments can be found in poetry, writings, and in various books of the Bible (i.e. Psalms, Lamentations, and Jeremiah).   When we lament, we pour out our complaints to God in an attempt to persuade action on our behalf, all the while stating our trust.  Laments can have seven parts:

  1. Address to God (“O God”)
  2. Review of God’s faithfulness in the past
  3. A complaint
  4. A confession of sin or claim of innocence
  5. A request for help
  6. God’s response (not often stated)
  7. A vow to praise, statement of trust in God
Trauma Healing Institute.  Healing the Wounds of Trauma:  How the Church Can Help.

 

Not all seven parts are present in a Lament, but COMPLAINT will always be apart of lamenting.  Laments allow a person or group to really express their grief to God.  God can handle being accused! We do not have to approach lamenting in trepidation. Complaints are often, but not always, followed by a statement of trust in God.  Laments create powerful writings because they are cries that come from the heart. They are cries from a place of purity and honesty. You are speaking the truth about how you really feel and even the things you question.  In a lament, there are no problems to solve, only crying out for intervention and justice. They are a good way to express deep emotions.

 

The example of a Lament from the Psalms:

Psalm 13

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.

What parts of lamenting can you find in the Psalms 13.

 

The following poem was composed as a group lament by five women of the

LGBT community.

My God, listen to our prayer.

Don’t hide when we need you. I’m confused and tired. We only need you, Lord.

My God listen to our prayer.

When bad people talk bad about us, they spit on our backs.

If we had wings, we would fly to a better place.

My God, listen to our prayer.

God, make them talk nonsense. Make them go mad. Because they have done bad to

our community.

God, listen to our prayer

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328928660_Examples_of_Contemporary_Laments_Based_on_Biblical_Laments_Illustrating_Theological_Insights

What parts of lamenting can be found in this poem?

 

Lets take the time to write a personal lament and share them with each other.

This space was created for us to freely share the cries of our heart.  We are hear to show empathy and bear witness with one another.