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Friday, June 10, 2011

Lament is Healthy

So my good friend and house-mate Ryan found out that he has cancer. It's terrifying and frustrating. His spinal tumor was removed (most of it) and he's been on the mend. Now we have a week of waiting for the full pathology report to tell us what the treatment plan will be and the prognosis.

Times are emotional around here. It's tough for us to go on with life like normal - and we shouldn't. We should lament at these moments. We should weep. We should rage at God. It's what the bible teaches us to do. The Psalms are full of laments and the entire book of Lamentations records the feelings of Israel when they felt abandoned by God. God wants us to feel our emotions, not numb them, not hide them, but to give them voice.

The words of Psalm 88 (a Psalm of Lamentation) resonate powerfully right now:
I am overwhelmed with troubles
   and my life draws near to death.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
   I am like one without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
   like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
   who are cut off from your care.

How can we make space for lamentation in our lives? When does your church need to practice lamenting?

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