A Lament for My People

     What a Lent.

I’m relatively new to the liturgical calendar, having grown up in an American fundamentalist denomination. We never counted down the dark days of Advent until Christmas or “gave things up” for Lent in anticipation of and preparation for Resurrection Sunday. So while I love the idea of measuring time by the heartbeat of the Church, I frankly suck at it – particularly Lent. I have had grand plans for the past few years – I was going to give up caffeine, television, chocolate, wine – but I failed utterly. This year I decided merely to add some positive activities: reading through our Lenten devotionals and Bonhoeffer’s book on the Psalms.

Thank goodness I didn’t get too ambitious this year, because I’m hanging on by a thread. I need all the help I can get, just to breathe day to day. And I’m not the only one. As a dear sister said to me last weekend, “I guess shitty is the new normal.”

broken glass lament    Cheers to that.

In this time of lamentation, repentance, and mourning for our sins, my tribe feels hard-hit: a newborn on life support, a child with crooked feet, parents divorcing, job insecurity, the anniversary of tragic loss, abuse, loneliness, anxiety, surprise surgery, an untimely heart condition, the fall-out of suicide.

And this is just my small circle of beloved friends – all of whom are outwardly “with-it” (whatever that means) and beautiful and successful. How much deeper is the pain in my entire church? My neighborhood? My city?

Right now, at this moment, we are yearning – longing – aching – for resurrection. Our prayers go up for specific healing in our varied situations. But the cry of our hearts is one and the same, as Horatius Bonar wrote so long ago:

 

Come, Lord, and tarry not;

Bring the long looked for day;  

O why these years of waiting here?

These ages of delay?

Come for thy saints still wait

Daily ascends their sigh

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come,”

Dost thou not hear the cry?


O come and make all things new

Come and make all things new

O come and make all things new

Build up this ruined earth

Come and make all things new.

 

alison