Our World Is Not As It Should Be: A Lament
Three years ago today, I was asked to write a lament for a chapel service at Taylor Seminary. It helped to give voice to some of my feelings at the time; I find it still resonates this morning.
Lament (September 27, 2017)
To the One who calls us Beloved,
We bring hurting hearts to you this morning,
Our fearfulness, and our worry.
Our world is not as it should be.
The ones with power make decisions for their own benefit
In a show of might, they flirt with war and destruction
But the most desperate among us are left to fend for themselves.
The proud and the comfortable say, “Everything is fine. There is no problem.”
But those without privilege know better.
They hunger, they weep, they bleed.
They wait for your justice to vindicate them – before it’s too late!
In a world where hate is a virtue and exclusion a way of life
It is hard to hold on to what unites
It is tough to find common ground
Our humanity is lost in the scuffle.
Those of us who wish for peace forget how to make it
Or where to begin
And fall into hopelessness, cynicism or despair
We too begin to feel powerless in the face of widespread suffering and systemic evil.
Even our planet seems ready to crack under the pressure of forces that are beyond us
Earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanoes.
Nature groans – and with it, your people.
Come, Lord Jesus, we pray.
When will you come?
When will you make right?
We are not strong enough, not wise enough, not good enough
To make peace, to bring healing
But you are.
You are the one who planted peace in our hearts
You are the one who will make it come to pass.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Strengthen the bruised reed.
Make weapons into ploughshares.
Comfort the weary and heavy-laden.
Make a home for the homeless.
Still the waters.
Calm the storm.
Come, Lord Jesus, you and your kingdom,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Your will be done.
Lament is form of prayer that gives full vent to our heartbreak, suffering, despair, or anger. I take heart in the fact that this type of prayer is modeled in the Psalms (see Psalms 42-44 and 88 for a few poignant examples) because it reassures me that there is room for the full range of our emotions in our conversation with God. It is part of us, part of our story, and God welcomes it all with tenderness and love into God's Story.
Is there a song of lament rising up in you today? How would it feel to offer it up as prayer?