THE LANGUAGE OF LAMENT
There was hardly a dry eye in the room. One by one men and women got up to read aloud a lament they had written. There were tears as we lamented for girls who are enslaved, for parents and grandparents who have lost children, for many who are depressed and think there is no reason to live, for those being persecuted all over the world, for a world that does not know God.
We let each other into the hidden places of our hearts, where we had been holding on to our pain.
My husband, oldest son and I spent this past week studying with Michael Card on “Recovering the Lost Language of Lament.” We focused on the lives of Job, Jeremiah, David and Jesus, and read some of their laments. I may be writing more on what I have learned this past week as I process it. It was an intensive study, and I will need time to go back over my notes and get my thoughts together.
WHAT IS A LAMENT?
A lament usually starts out with a plea for God to listen. Next there could be questions, complaints, anger and more. But then there is a change. They remember who God is and what He has done in the past. They remind themselves that He is good and long for His presence. When they have done this their circumstances may not have changed, but their perspectives have. They have offered their pain to God as a lament.
God knows our hearts already. Nothing is hidden from Him. He is not afraid of our complaints, questions or even anger. We give our pain, heartaches, doubts as offerings to God, because until we let them go we are unable to experience the peace that God can give.
A SERVICE OF LAMENT
Our last session was a service of lament, which was divided into three parts, each beginning with scripture.
- The world at large
Michael Card began with a song, after which someone sounded a shofar. Next a woman sang the Shema – Hear, Oh Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one. Then a psalm of lament was read. Finally, we shared our laments. We wept together as we poured out our hearts before God. It was a beautiful service. We ended in praise to God as we sang hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.
This is a lament I wrote just before the first session of the last day of the seminar.
A Prayer of Lament
Father, hear my prayer
Arguments, false accusations
Deception, lies, hurt
Some close to me are reeling
Where are you, Lord?
I cry unto you, but some things get worse
I want to believe You will answer
My heart is in pain for some of my children
Please come to their aid
Bring back those who have turned away
Oh Lord, my heart aches
But Your Word brings peace
I long for You
Your presence comforts me
Don’t ever leave
I would be lost without You
Thank You for always loving me
And being faithful
You, my God, are greater than all
You are my hope
I’d like to share a beautiful song written by Michael Card and Vance Taylor. I hope it ministers to you as it has to me and my family. This song is on his album The Hidden Face of God. This You tube video is much like what we experienced as he sang this past week.
It took more than five minutes to write this, but I’m adding it to the #FiveMinuteFriday linkup since I did use the prompt word hidden. I’m also linking up with: #WordofGodSpeak, #GiveMeGrace, #SoulSurvival, #inspirememonday, #LMMLinkup, #IntentionalTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, Cisneros Cafe, #CoffeeforYourHeart, #SittingAmongFriends, #SmallWonder, #ThoughtProvokingThursday, #Faith’nFriends