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  • Writer's pictureLES HENSON

Learning to Lament

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

When we are in pain individually or communally have, we learnt how to respond? When we are faced with hardship and life is full of sorrow, do we understand how to voice our anguish and pain? When crisis surrounds us, what are we to do? The truth is that many of God’s people in the Western world are unfamiliar with the concept of lament. Perhaps it is because so many of us live a middle-class lifestyle that grants us a somewhat, high measure of security, so that crisis rarely impinges upon our lives. But as the people of God, we need to develop a theology of lament and ability that enables us to sit with the pain and sorrow without immediately trying to fix it or find an easy solution, because when we are in the midst of a profound crisis of life, there is no easy solution.

Lament is an important theme of the Psalms and Lamentations To lament is to express a deep sense of sorrow, grief, regret, complaint or anger, both at the events that have happened and sometimes at God who as allowed them to happen. The Psalms of lament and Lamentations deal with issues that were and are central to the life of God’s people both for individual believers and the whole community of faith. They express intense emotions, real human struggles, and the deep anguish of heart experienced by the people of Israel as they lived out their faith in times of personal or communal crisis. At such times, they lamented and mourned. They confessed their sin, they argued with God, expressed their anger and rage with no holds barred. They outpoured their emotions to God just as we do today. When we experience times of trouble and require to be rescued and helped, the Psalms of lament and the Book of Lamentations are an excellent place to begin, because they tell it like it is and they don’t pretend or gloss over the reality of life as it is in the midst of the sorrow and pain.

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