Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow (Oxford Dictionary). This time of isolation and social distancing has been different for all of us. For me, it comes in waves. This week it seemed to descend out of nowhere. I was filled with sadness. It had a grip on me that wouldn’t let go. I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t understand it.
The key to lament is expression. I knew I had to get it out of my system. I knew the tears needed to flow. I knew I needed to cry out to God for hope to be restored. I know we won’t be in this strange sense of suspended animation forever, but I had hit an emotional wall. I needed to lament. I needed to express the sadness to move through it.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: 22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left. 25God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God. (Lamentations 3: 19-26 MSG)
The book of Lamentations describes grief and sorrow in graphic detail, but it reminds us that it doesn’t end there. It is easy to get stuck in sadness and despair, but it is something we need to move through not be stuck in. It will hold onto us if we let it. I am one who likes to hold onto difficult emotions rather than express them. Lament teaches us that expression is how we move through the greatest of sorrows. Lament teaches us how to deal with our current circumstances. As Lamentations reminds us, we need to diligently seek God. We need to quietly hope. We need to passionately wait. God’s merciful love does not run out!
How are you dealing with the isolation and social distancing? How is your emotional health. Have you had to learn to lament? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.