How to Lament

Healing is the holy work of God and one of the ways we position ourselves so that God can heal us is through our lament.  Lament, that anguished complaint, is coming to truth and when we tell someone the truth of our souls, our true core reality, we connect in a deep way.  This may include our accusation of how they haven’t come through for us, have hurt us or forgotten us.  It may be how deeply we’ve been hurt by life and include the feeling that, although they didn’t add to it, they also didn’t do anything about it, or never seemed to acknowledge it.

When Jesus spoke with the woman at the well, he gave her the opportunity to say the truth about herself and the truth about herself and God.  He walked her into that moment with three steps.  He offered her the truth of God’s quenching work for her soul.  She admitted that would be great to find.  She then expressed the truth about her relationship with the community.  Then he offered her the truth about life’s destruction on her soul.  She admitted that the toll was great.  Then he offered her the truth about herself. He validated her.  And then she admitted her greatest need, her exclusion from God.lament

And that’s how we lament.

  • We admit how we would love to find the helping, healing work of God, but we don’t.
  • We admit the toll that life has taken on our souls, our self-esteem, our plans for the future, our trust in others, in life, in God.
  • We admit our greatest need and our deepest disappointment with God.
  • But, we then remind our souls that we don’t know everything, we don’t see every connection or possibility and we don’t know the future. We admit that God does and that God loves us.

When we lament we walk ourselves into the depth of truth that God desires to live between us. When we are able to express our deepest need… God is able to work in us, God is able to teach our souls real truth, God is able to heal.  God wants to hear our lament so he can say his love most clearly.

The consequences of damage may not go away immediately or maybe at all.  We may still live within the consequences of the damage, but we don’t carry it any longer.


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