Early in the pandemic one of my colleagues made a distinction I’ve been mulling ever since. When we despair, we take up permanent residence in our grief. In that space we are driven by fear to blame people or circumstances for our troubles, leading to increasing disconnect from God and others. Lament, in contrast, is an act of worship. In it we name and feel our grief – then we turn it over to God, trusting that God will be present to it and act in it. As a result, we experience greater connection with God and others. Lament is what we find in the psalms as well as other places in scripture.
Certainly, in these past four months, there has been much to mourn. What shape has your grief taken? Are you stuck in despair, or are you living in lament, acknowledging all that we have lost in the pandemic while looking to God in the midst of it?
Lament is a way forward. It clears the path for gratitude and new life. Let us lament together.