Last week we were assigned to write a lament in the style of the laments in the Book of Psalms. My initial gut reaction to this assignment was anger. How could you *assign* a lament to someone as if at any we could produce grief and righteous indignation? I also felt because the examples of lament that we do have arose out of life tragedies. I felt it a disrespect to those whose laments came out painful moments, while I was trying to pass a class with mine.
Despite my “noble” objections, I wasn’t about to pass up on an easy (or so thought it would be) A. Since I wasn’t in a place in life where I was my situation, I had to revisit a moment in my life where I was to that point. A year ago there was deep strife in my marriage, and isolation among my friends and mentors, and dishonesty from spiritual leaders. Rather than being sources of refreshment and these communities were the cause of much anguish and. Often I prayed to God in the form of angry laments, and I do my prayers were heard. For the past several months I have been in a season of healing and peace which I am extremely grateful for. Putting season of life into a poetic lament reminded me of the powerful works reorientation that God did in my life before coming to Fuller which me hope to trust in him as the raging storm that is finals week.
Not only did I learn how poetically lamenting can make the past graces of a deep well of hope and perseverance, but I also experienced the of listening to the laments of others. In our Vocation Formation, we were asked to share our laments with one another. In that time of vulnerability I was reminded of the suffering around me I could play a role in helping alleviate. There was also a unique of solidarity amongst our group—we were not strangers to suffering failure, so there was no shame amongst us. To paraphrase Paul, God’s was made perfectly known in our weakness.
With all that said, I have discovered how valuable and empowering lament in personal and communal contexts can be. It can provide a renewed sense of God’s faithfulness, it provides a safe place to frustration with God and others, and it can unite God’s people in a and powerful way. For when we are weak, we are strong.