Kim's Blog

My Lament

https://www.dur.ac.uk/theologyandministry/volumes/1/rediscovering-lament/

Above is a great article by some folks working on housing estates about rediscovering the Biblical practice of lament. In it they explain that lament, as an expression of pain, has been neglected by the Church today, despite the widespread reading of the Psalms which are full of lament. They ask why we’ve lost our lament – is it because the church has become too comfortable, insensitized to communal pain and social injustice, or has the church suppressed these voices?

The article encourages the rediscovery of lament and so, on this day of lamenting the pain and suffering to come through the extending of austerity, I’ve had a go at my own. I was very upset and angry whilst writing it. I also think the church has become frightened of the expression of anger, seeing peace and unity as necessary at all costs. I cannot help but be angry when I see suffering, abuse, predators preying on the weak, hunger and squalor in daily life here in the UK. It’s as if no-one allows themselves to see or to ask why, and so I lament.

How long Lord,

Will you allow suffering to continue,

Injustice to roll on like rivers,

And oppression a heavy weight on the lives of the poor?

 

How long Lord,

Will the queues at the Foodbanks increase,

People struggling to pay bills and make ends meet?

Zero hours contracts and paupers funerals on the rise.

 

How long Lord,

Will violent men wreck the lives of women and children;

Will homes be repossessed and sold off to corrupt landlords;

Stench and squalor, filth and damp,

Marring your image in all who live there.

 

How long Lord,

Can we go on like this,

Cries falling on deaf ears?

Will no-one stop and listen,

Does no-one see or care?

How long Lord,

Will fat cats grow rich on stocks and shares,

Betting on the lives of others,

Thinking they deserve their wealth

While hiding their taxes offshore?

 

How long Lord,

Will your church cosset the comfortable, the entitled middle class,

Who pray to you for a parking space,

Or a perfect school place,

And a new Barbour jacket for the wife?

 

How long Lord,

Before you refuse our offerings,

And abandon our worship,

Given as such a tiny fraction of all our resources,

And with so many strings attached?

 

When will you come,

How will you come,

And through whom will you come again?

 

But you, Lord,

Will enact your promise to bless those who mourn,

To invite the stranger to your table and be filled,

To make yourself known in the breaking of the bread.

To give milk and honey without cost to the hungry

To send the rich away empty,

Cast down from their place of power.

For You are Emmanuel, The God Who Came.

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