Lamentations

Today we read from Lamentations 1:1-6 and last week we read from Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15.  Jeremiah asked last week how long the poor people will have to endure and this week we hear what they are enduring.  The destruction of their way of life, being moved to a foreign land, being separated one from another, and having the destruction of the city itself, Jerusalem.  This is a song of deep loss and pain and one of struggle with God.

Have you ever given ear to a persons lament?  Heard the pain they were caught in right at that moment?  It is a struggle to understand the world around them, the family they have, the people who they are in community with.  Lament tries to make sense of the world and our place in it.  If we don't lament we don't come through to the other side of grief and come to peace with the circumstances of where we stand. 

Yesterday I wrote of a lament of being shut out of our home, of having to face violence, and of where this finally lead to a path of freedom.  There are other laments all over the world.  As one of the kitchen women in Lui South Sudan told me that they couldn't use flashlights at night because it would tell people where they were and they would be raped, it was a lament from the war.  As people tell us on the news of losing children at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut it is a lament, when we hear that people are being affected deeply by the government shut-down there are laments, as someone loses a loved one there is lament. 

Lament lasts for a season helping us to make sense of our world.  If we approach lament with the will to struggle through we can come out the other side, as we see in the Psalmists cries, to joy and thanksgiving.  It brings us to a new shore in our faith and we shouldn't shy away from that.  Struggling with lament means we have taken the first steps in faith to understand God.  It is just another step on the path that brings us into closer relation because we struggle with understanding our faith from a different perspective than before. This means we have grown in our own faith journey.