learning to lament

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Image credit: aaron-blanco-tejedor-VBe9zj-JHBs-unsplash

I’ve never been good at lament. I’ve never been known as tender-hearted, empathetic, or good at sitting with someone in their pain. But I want to be better. I want to learn.

Maybe it’s my age and a more experienced perspective. Maybe it is how our world is changing. I hope it has something to do with God working on my heart, but either way, I see a lot more pain these days.

I cry a lot more these days.

I feel sick to my stomach more often these days.

I’m not especially angry, but that is growing too.

I’m changing the way I do things in my life.


Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, regret, disappointment, or complaint about something considered unsatisfactory, unreasonable, unfair, or unjust.


My heart is burdened by many issues.

  • The hurtful and hate-filled ways we judge and demonize each other
  • The wasteful destruction of our God-created environment
  • The marketing lies to profit from toxic foods and products
  • The soul-destroying effects of pornography, trafficking, exploitation
  • The devaluation and oppression of women
  • The abusive labor practices used to produce so much of what we buy
  • The deaths of unborn children through abortion
  • The horrendous ways people of color are treated unequally in our country
  • The disparity of living standards across our globe

I’m sure I am missing more.

And this is just what is happening today. There is also the weight of so many past injustices in our history. How to heal? How to make it right?

I’m not sure what to do about all of this. I feel overwhelmed and sad and helpless. I can’t give 100% to one need without neglecting another. I am only one person.

But I won’t do nothing either.

And so I learn. I lament. I beg God to make us different. I look for more I can do.

It’s not enough. It will never be enough.

But it will be something and it will grow to be more as long as I stay open to see, listen, care, speak up, and act. I have so far to go still.

What burdens your soul? What have you learned about lament?

** Today I grieve George Floyd’s death and the injustice weighs heavily on my heart. I am compiling a list of resources for learning more. Please let me know if you have more I can add.

5 thoughts on “learning to lament

  1. Some days I feel helpless in what to do with ALL the wrongs in this world! I cry out to God and often feel like the psalmist: “Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? (especially my African American friends know this) We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; redeem us because of Your unfailing love.” Psa. 44 I want God to show me “my part”, as you said, and call on Him to bring change!

  2. First, I feel like you’re wrong. You’re way more compassionate than you think. But you’re right about the burdens of pain we bear with the challenges of living in this messy, broken world. It hurts to see all the pain in the world, all the pain in our lives. And you’re right about George Floyd’s death–the pain of losing a valuable life has faded into the background of everyone’s anger and hate. You’re an amazing woman with a huge heart. Thank you for this.

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