LAMENT: verb (used without object)
to feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret.
to mourn deeply
Six months ago I would have said with some measure of confidence: “I have lived long enough, experienced enough, endured enough to know what it means to lament.” For example, I have grieved the untimely death of my mom to cancer. I have mourned deeply with my husband during our long season of infertility. I’ve regretted decisions made in my youth. I’ve been agonized by physical pain. I’ve shared my sister’s inexplicable sorrow over the loss of her teenage son. I have grieved alongside friends who have endured the traumatic and unfair.
I lament the unsettled and divided, the uncomfortable and untimely, the injustice and inhumane…in tidy and measured ways. You see, I do not want to come apart at the seams only to be somehow misunderstood in my emotion. I do not want to cry too loudly or too often only to appear weak, or too womanly, or worse. Besides, an overt display of emotion is simply not “our” way.
But, in this new, gospel-love-filled world I am beginning to learn what it means to lament as I worship with brothers and sisters who weep openly and regularly, share burdens, and express through tears, sorrow and anxiety and pain from places so deep inside that only a Holy Comforter’s balm can soothe. I am learning that lament is a necessary part of a healthy rhythm of worship.
All at once I find myself terrified to enter in and yet drawn to lean in and maybe even let go.