It Takes A Village – Week 22
Guttural Cry Of The Soul
To lament. Lamenting is the guttural cry of a soul in suffering. And the children of God knew it well. We open the book of Lamentations- accurately named- witnessing the exile experience. God’s people were dealing with loss and pain. So raw and real and faith changing. The horrors that scoured the streets of a decimated Jerusalem were the worst display’s of the human condition.
The temples were destroyed in Babylon. The people were taken into Babylonian slavery. Children were slaughtered and all matters of hell on earth seemed to present themselves to these exiled and beaten children of the Most High. And like any other in the human experience, they struggled to believe God was still with them and felt like God had walked away from His Holy Temple.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
But the book of Lamentations provides us hope in the midst of our suffering: God does not turn a blind eye to it but instead enters into the suffering with us. There is hope to be found when we live through suffering. Though we live in a dishevelled world riddled with sin and suffering, there is hope to be found in the scripted words of God’s children who knew suffering well.
We all suffer. This truth we know, but it appears that some in this world suffer more greatly than others. Of God’s sovereignty we will never understand but all can agree that to suffer is a part of humanity. So, when we suffer, do we do it alone? Who is it that comes alongside us to embrace the suffering we may be forced to endure? Who is it that uses their hands to lift our chin up along with our spirits?
The children of Israel suffered together as a community. They understood what they were going through as a collective unit. When life deals us a less than ideal hand in this game called life, who are the players sitting at the table? We can find our greatest strengths in community when breaking bread, debating ideology, and lamenting our sorrows with others who are suffering as well.
Suffering comes in many forms and grief in many stages. The death of a loved one, the loss of a friendship, job, or dream can lead a soul to despair. Perhaps the greatest thing we can do in this search for our village is to open our front doors to the lamenting soul offering a place of peace, comfort, and a good dose of mercy with our coffee cake.
Father, we may never understand your ways and question the severity of life’s blows, but in wisdom we know that a world riddled with sin is a world riddled with pain. May we open our hearts to understand the beauty of suffering and the hope you have promised in its wake. In Jesus name, amen.