LAMENT: THE SONG OF THE GRIEVING

“Lament is how you live between the poles of a hard life and trusting in God’s

sovereignty. Lament is how we bring our sorrow to God. Without lament, we won’t know how to process pain.”


Mark Vroegop, ‘Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy’


Language is a gift from God, without which we would live in isolation; we

would be unable to communicate our thoughts, feelings and needs to

others. A few days ago, I spoke to a friend who recently suffered the

devastating loss of her husband; a young man in his prime who left behind

a young widow and little children. She shared the feelings of anger,

betrayal and pain that she has been experiencing towards God. Having

gone through a very different but equally devastating loss, I completely

empathised with her. We are not alone. I have been listening to and

reading about many Christians who have had similar devastating

experiences and freely confess that these experiences led them to a

spiritual crisis.

While most Christians freely share their spiritual triumphs, we do not often

speak publicly about these challenging moments in our lives. As a result,

many of us do not know the language to use when we experience loss and

faith crisis. Even worse, as a body of believers, we are often unsure what

language we should use to comfort those who can speak out about their

crisis.


A pastor whose daughter was stillborn just days from her due date

expresses this conundrum well when he writes:

‘When occasionally I candidly shared a few of the struggles of my soul, some people

reacted with visible discomfort. Others quickly moved to a desperate desire to “find

the bright side,” a quick change of the subject, an awkward silence, or even physically

excusing themselves to escape the tension. In moments of attempted comfort, people

said things like “I’m sure the Lord will give you another baby,” “Maybe more people

will come to the faith because of the death of your daughter,” or “The Lord must

know He can trust you with this.” Every person meant well…but it became clear that

most people did not know how to join us in our grief.’


Mark Vroegop, ‘Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy’


Thankfully God has given us the language of lament. Lament is a language

of prayer; it is the gift that God has given us to communicate our grief to

Him and others and express comfort and love to those hurting.