The what and how of lament

Mar 2, 2021 | 0 comments

You might think that this month’s workshop, The What and How of Lament, is geared toward Lent.

You’d be part right and, I’m sorry to say, more wrong. While Lent is a season of lament, Lenten lament is focuses on personal sin and the need for Christ to die.

This month’s workshop is the broader idea of lament. If you’re like me you think, “Sure, I’m familiar with the idea of lament.” After all one of the books of the Bible is called Lamentations. You probably also have a sense that lamenting would help you process the losses woven into your life. But the truth is, you’re not sure where to start.

How does one lament? Should you list all of your losses? Should you read the book of Lamentations? Should you memorize a Psalm?

If you’ve been around Global Trellis for a while, you know we exist to help you continue to grow and develop. One of the great paradoxes of how God has wired us is that our joy and sorrow buttons are connected. So, if you turn down the sorrow you feel over your losses, you also turn down the joy you could experience. Add your personality to the mix and some reading this are more drawn to weeping, and some are more drawn to rejoicing. We need both in our lives. We need to be people who weep and who rejoice.

But not many of us have been trained in how to express losses and sorrow. With this in mind, we asked one of our Spiritual Direction Specialists, Lane Arnold, to present this month’s workshop. As I recorded the workshop on a chilly morning in February, I thought, “Lane is the lament guide I didn’t know I needed.” You will probably have a similar reaction.

In the workshop called The What and How of Lament covers:

—Where lament occurs in your life

—The general pattern and structures of lament in the Bible

—Themes and questions of lament Psalms

—Why you need to lament

—How to lament using Psalms 42 and 43 (this part could be a mini- or half-day retreat)

—Guidelines for writing a lament

All of that in an hour! One of the features I love about the workshops is that you can stop the videos and spend time with God. If you know that you need to process a recent loss or want to built the skills of lament, this workshop is the perfect opportunity to have a mini-retreat alone, with your spouse, or with your team.

In the workshop, Lane shares this quote from James K.A. Smith from a Trinity Forum podcast:

“Lament is naming what’s not supposed to be to God…it’s anger with a cadence of hope . . . we lament and protest and work against the way it’s not supposed to be…with the hope of the foretaste of shalom.”

Anger with a cadence of hope.

Today take one ore more of these actions:

1. Get The What and How of Lament.
2. Schedule a time to watch it.
3. Schedule a half-day to use it again as a retreat.

Though it might sound strange to set aside time to lament, your soul will be healthier in the long-run. You’ll have room to use both lament and laughter muscles. You can start learning about The What and How of Lament today.

Amy Young

Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Supporting cross-cultural work.




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