I have no commentary on the circumstances of our country over the last few weeks or two years. I don’t possess a depth of knowledge or necessary breadth of information that have shaped or misshaped our country. Nor am I equipped to effectively determine the way we move from here.
I know this…I have a sadness, an ache. It's a gnawing
compulsion that we are losing the inherent goodness that comes, not just from being Canadian (which I love), but from being people. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.
What has been lost won’t be easily regained through change in medical advice, political legislation, social pressure or religious rhetoric.
For me, this is a time to lament.
“Lament is not simply feeling bad…Lament is not simply feeling sad…Lament is not asserting your right…Lament is not the passive acceptance of tragedy. Lament is not weakly assenting to the status quo. Lament is not simple the expression of sorrow to assuage the feelings of guilt and the burden of responsibility.”
- (Prophetic Lament by Song-Chan Rah, p.205)
Lament brings us first to God in prayer. Lament unites us in repentance for social ills and prepares us to be filled anew with the compassionate heart of God. Lament says “we” and “our” not “them” and “they”. In this way, lament first leads to confession of my “position” and sense of self-rightness.
Lament gives me permission to direct my angst and confusion toward God, rather than other people.
Lament allows the voice of the hurting to rise, with multiplying yearning voices, to the ears of God. In so doing lament requires me to quiet my own reactions.
Lament releases me from subjective solutions, to listen intently to others, even to those whose views may differ.
Lament reminds me that true justice reveals merciful love to others, even to those who may oppose me.
Lament causes me to be patient and persevering in upholding the twin pillars of grace and truth.
Lament emboldens me to embrace the freedom of relinquishing my bias to empathize with another.
Lament, should we persevere in it, recalibrates our perspective and invigorates our participation with a greater hope for a world where reconciliation, wholeness and peace are possible.
And then…lament leads us to exemplify those ideals in everyday, practical ways and encourage others to do the same.Lament, that’s what I’m doing, and would invite you to do the same.