Grace Episcopal Church
Lament is a way of intimacy with God
By Deacon Mary Delancey
In an article by author and speaker Esther Fleece Allen, she reminds us that spiritual maturity does not mean living a lament-less life. If we are honest, we know that there is so much in this world and in our own lives that is broken. If we refuse to lament those broken places we miss the opportunity to grow. We miss growing in the recognition of our need for God. But more sadly, we miss the intimacy with God that we gain by acknowledging and crying out in our pain.
In our real gratitude for what God has done in our lives we can believe that what God wants from us is our strength, when it is our brokenness that he longs for us to bring to him. Scripture gives us many examples of faithful people who brought their pain and brokenness to God. Abraham, Joseph, David, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Rachel, Hannah, Peter and Paul all lamented. There’s most of the Psalms and an entire book of Lamentations as well. Jesus lamented the brokenness of our world.
A lament is a passionate expression of our pain that God meets us in. It is an honest, sometimes heart-wrenching, always soul-baring talk with God about the ways we are hurting. We come to God from where we are, not where we are pretending to be.
God loves us enough to warn us that pain in this life will come and to give us a way to relate to him in the middle of that pain. Lament reminds us that we are not abandoned in our pain. God’s grace meets us there if we are willing to lay our pain at his feet.