How to Write a Lament

The website says this:

Lament gives depth,

nuance

and clarity

to the story God

is telling—

his people willingly

surrendering long held

beliefs,

prejudices

and defenses.

 

IMG_E2963

Apologies, website writer,

But your definition is a doctor’s clipped verdict

in a white room.

 

To the rest of us, lament is this:

 

The scream of a soul swimming

in the dark,

the wail of the thing

lost, a brimming cup

bitter-full.

Lament is clarity

vanished,

bloody feet scraping stone,

fingers fisted against the taking,

mind fleeing thought-crushing silence.

Lament is throwing yourself against

the siege wall until

defenses are not laid down

but decimated.

 

Let us try another approach.

 

Address and introductory cry

 

God

 

I am to believe You

walk with me in this vale

of stones and You

are good?

 

That may be, and You

may be holy

powerful

all-

knowing

 

but I do not

know what You are not

telling me, why

You are hiding, there

in the dark like this

is a game.

 

Complaint

 

I have walked the path

I have climbed the rungs

I have sung and

sacrificed

served and said

the words.

I have

trusted them,

eaten them whole.

 

I have even

suffered.

 

But now I am swallowed

by a pit,

flailing and

suffocating

and You are

 

where

 

are You?

 

It is too

much and

 

You

could stop this

if You

would.

 

How long

 

will You

will

this

 

how long?

 

And if You cry

with

me, why

cannot I

hear?

 

Don’t You see

the watchers

waiting?

 

You are not

what I thought,

You

ghost-God,

You who would

slip in among

us only to

seize

everything.

 

Confession of trust

 

You ask for my

death.

 

I know You told me this

would happen,

told me there would be

a cross.

 

It slivers me,

splits me wide.

 

Must I breathe

this tortured

slow

surrender?

 

The unforgiving tomb

awaits,

where all my feats of flesh

will crumble.

 

And yes, all the ways

lead there, always

have,

my own

and Yours, and I

must choose

how to die.

 

Into Your hands I will,

if You will

help my

unbelief.

 

Prayer for deliverance

 

And lay me down, let me

still.

Let the silence fill

my hollow.

 

Let me lie

sundered for all the days

and nights

for all the dust of me

to yield

to the carrying down

and down to the very gates

of Hell

 

to the unlocking

of the cell,

to the touch, the shout,

the sudden upward

surge

into the light.

 

 

Praise

 

And let me rise.

 

Let the love unfurl

in me like life

newmade.

 

Let me upward yearn

for the yearning that is You,

freed of fear and

dead to death.

 

And let the tears of my

undoing

be the doing

of Your work, the gift

You birth,

the song.

 

Let us lose

everything, long

for nothing that is not

You.

 

 

 

One thought on “How to Write a Lament

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