Grief & Lament

My friend, Stan Friedman, the editor for our church denomination’s new-service joking has called himself over the last week, “The Apocalyptic Reporter!” It does seems like there is a lot of tragedy and heartbreaking news these days.

One of my adult aha’s is coming to learn more about lament and grief. I still am not good at it but I’m probably less troubled by it than in my earlier years. I still hate pain and confronting my shortcomings–or the grief and heartache that seems to be at every turn in our times.

Sometimes I wonder if there really is more to trouble us–disheartening news, personal failures, tragic wars and conflict, crazy storms and earthquakes–or if I’m just noticing it more. Regardless, I’m coming to see its more a regular part of life.

Eugene Peterson reminds us:

We don’t become mature human beings by getting lucky or cleverly circumventing loss, and certainly not by avoidance and distraction. Learn to lament. Learn this lamentation. We’re mortals, after all. We and everyone around are scheduled for death (mortis). Get used to it. Take up your cross. It prepares us and those around us for resurrection. (Daily Office: Remembering God’s Presence Throughout The Day, p. 91).