When Only Lament Makes Sense


By Adam McLane

to-lamentMost mornings, I get up, have a cup of coffee, pop on my headphones, and sit down to write.

My morning routine makes sense to me. Writing is easy for me. I enjoy it. The blinking cursor of my word processor greets me and I quickly fill a page with new words.

Writing every morning brings sense to my day. Most days make sense.

But today doesn’t make sense.

The cursor blinks at me waiting for words to flow; they don’t. They won’t.

I sit in a comfortable chair, feeling the cool Pacific breeze drift through my house, the wafts of freshly ground coffee fill my nostrils confirming that a new day has started.

Yet today words pile on top of one another, they don’t make sense.

The alarm sounded but darkness pushed away the sunrise. The familiarity, the expectation of what can happen today was replaced by news, reactions, assumptions, presumptions, and questions.

Nine people are dead in a church shooting in South Carolina.

1100 miles South and hundreds of thousands of Haitian immigrants, many who have been in the Dominican Republic for generations, face deportation. (Read World Vision International’s call to not separate undocumented children who “look Haitian” from their parents.)

I grasp to make sense where there is none. I seek comfort in words that won’t come. And so I’m left, staring at the blinking cursor, asking God to make sense of what doesn’t make sense.

Did you know this wordless feeling has a word?

Lament – /ləˈment/ – (noun) a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. (verb) to mourn

On days like this all I have is lament.

To care is to lament. To pray is to lament. To listen or read is to lament. To hear and see is to lament.

So today, all I have to offer is this prayer of lament:

Great God of love, your creation weeps.

Hear the cry of the voiceless.

See the pain and injustice perpetrated on your children.

Bless those who grieve and mourn the broken kingdom on Earth.

“It’s the Holy Spirit’s role to convict, God’s role to judge, and ours to love.”

We ask that you help us to love.

We release the resentment and bitterness we hold towards people who have hurt us and our friends.

Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.