“No matter where you find yourself politically or theologically, we can all humble ourselves to the point of lamenting with others. In fact, lament is crucial if we want to build relational bridges with the gospel — if we want to authentically display and declare God’s love to a hurting people.”- Aubrey Sampson
In Chapter 10 (“Beyond Yourself: Lament Loves Company”) of The Louder Song, Aubrey Sampson observes that all laments tend to start self-focused. Thus, I zero in on my will, problem, or questions of God. As we surrender our pain to Him though, God shifts our focus so that we start to look God-ward. Consequently, we now look at God’s will, goodness, purpose, and sovereignty.
However, the author stresses, lament journeys must not stop there. Because lament needs to lead other-ward. For, Aubrey adds, God never rescues us from suffering only for our benefit. Rather, God’s healing work in our lives is always meant to bless and minister to others.
Therefore, when injustice, grief, suffering, oppression, and fear rise up, Aubrey suggests that we should stop asking where God is. Instead, we should ask this question: “God, what do you want us, your people, to do about it?”
Hence, Aubrey exhorts, we can learn much from our Jewish brothers and sisters. For them, lament is one aspect of faith, not something separate from it. In addition, throughout Lamentations the prophet Jeremiah laments on behalf of others’ pain. As a result, he enters into their pain, validates that pain, and carries it to God. In fact, musician Michael Card refers to Jeremiah as an ‘intercessor of lament.’
Finally, Jeremiah’s compelled to feel what his people feel – devastated, angry, broken. He loves his people through his laments for them as well as with them.
Today’s question: How do you find lament crucial as you build relational bridges with the gospel? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Gifts hidden in suffering – redeemed”