You know exactly where you were when you heard, how your heart dropped, your hands fell limp, helpless, and how all our grief howls, and we don’t turn away.
Headlines keep leaving fracture lines through all our hearts:
Bullets and abuse and polarization and anger and injustice and hatred and war and graves… all these excavated, fresh graves.
And now we weep for sweet children who should have been slurping down their cereal this morning and pressing their warm cheeks right up against their mama’s as they tightly hug their mama’s necks, and we ache for grocery stores and church pews and public squares that are desecrated with profane violence, and in between all the shattering pain of this earth and all the sure promises of God, we weep with God.
This whole suffering world is awash with the tears of God and no one cries alone.
And yet the grief of it all can feel like too much, and it’s too easy to be tempted to move onto desensitized numbness, or into heated debate, because it’s far too painful to fully feel it all, but we need to let it all come because:
“Lament is where we live, the land between the pain of this earth and the promises of our God.“
Lament is our protest.
Lament is our protest about what is not right about life.
Lament is our laying out our longing for justice.
Lament is where we live, the land between the pain of this earth and the promises of our God.
Grief needs to speak and we need to keep making spaces for letting all of us share all kinds of deep lament. So we dare to say the names of people lost, and we dare to stare at their pictures, look into eyes and memorize faces, and we sit with tears, because injustice grows whenever we dehumanize moments and don’t take time to grieve.
If we deeply care about justice, justice in our streets, in our churches, in our schools, in our communities, in our world, we will keep making spaces for deep lament in our hearts, because when our hearts are moved to lament, the very heart of God is moved toward all of us.
Though we may not hear each other’s cries across the street, across the spectrum, across the aisle, our cries are always heard across heaven. In Christ, we are truly assured of being truly heard. Our grief has the very ear of God.
In the midst of all kinds of tragedies and travesties, is the always kind fidelity of our God Almighty.
In God we trust and we trust that our grief moves God. Moves God’s heart, and moves God’s long arm.
When we are moved to lament and grieve — God is moved on our behalf.
And we are moved to act on behalf of the vulnerable.
“The only comforting home for all our grief is in the arms of the covenantal love of Christ.
It is only His withness that can begin to break all this brokenness.”
And our God is not a God of apathy, but a God of empathy, a God who is not caught off guard but a God who catches every tear, a God who is not silent in the face of all kinds of violence, but turned us His face toward ours and acted, opening wide His arms on the Cross to bear it all.
The only comforting home for all our grief is in the arms of the covenantal love of Christ. It is only His withness that can begin to break all this brokenness.
In a world of staggering loss and injustice, in the arms of Jesus, we hear His steady heart beat, “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isa. 41:10), which transforms the beat of our own hearts, “I will not fear, for You are with me” (Ps. 23:4).
Days like these beg us to open our palms and live the psalms and live our lament out loud and look to our God to move and to move us — move us to hope, move us to help, move us to act.
Wherever we are right now, in this deeply broken world of deeply heartbroken stories, our helpless hands can still rise with hope.
Because our cries will rise, and our lament will rise, and our hope will rise because from dead, hopeless places, our God knows how to rise and it’s Him who is rising up in us and moving all of us.