There will be times in every school life when lament is the right and appropriate way to approach God, in prayer and in worship. Below, Malcolm Gordon helps us to understand what Lament is, and provides us with a kete of resources to explore it ourselves.
“Lament is actually already part of your life. It is in those questions you ask in your head that you don’t dare to utter out loud. It is in that anger you feel at what’s wrong in the world. Its in the deep, gut twisting, heavy hearted sadness at the pain in our world that just doesn’t need to be.
Well, that is almost lament. For it to really be lament it needs to be let out of your head and out of your heart and let loose at God. While it is bottled up inside you, its just fears, doubts and anger. But lament articulates our fears, our questions, and our rage into acts of faith. Think about it. Only your best friends can cope with the worst of you right? The irrational, unreasonable you. Is God to be trusted with your deepest self? Can God be trusted?
Your anger may know more about justice that you do. Because anger doesn’t bother with whether it would be polite or nice or respectable to feel that way, it just feels its way to truth. Your questions may know more about God and what’s wrong with the world than all your neat, tidy answers. Because those fearless questions will not be distracted or easily satisfied with half baked slogans when things are not right.
I think God wants to know that we know the world is not right. Lament is how we tell that truth. It is not lovely, or easy, but the alternative is to pretend that things are ok. Given that choice, I wonder if telling an ugly truth is better than living inside a beautiful lie. If our God is too fragile to handle hearing about our hurting world, perhaps we need another? If we’re worried about offending God with our doubt, or showing God up because it seems like we care more than God does, it seems to me we have a bigger problem already.
The God we meet in Jesus can handle hearing the truth, no matter how brutal. This God seems to be looking for people who love enough to hurt deeply, and to hope unceasingly. People who are going to face the darkness without flinching and demand that God show up.
And then stare into the inky blackness unblinkingly in search of the first glimmer of light.
You are already carrying the burden of your doubts, your anger, and your grief.
Why not share that burden with the one who can do something about it?”