Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lament

lament

[ luh-ment ]

verb (used with object)

to feel or express sorrow or regret for:to lament his absence.
to mourn for or over.

verb (used without object)

to feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret.
to mourn deeply.

noun

an expression of grief or sorrow.
a formal expression of sorrow or mourning, especially in verse or song; an elegy or dirge.
Copied From Dictionary.com

Today, our church met exclusively online
for the last time.
Next week, we begin meeting in our sanctuary once again.
With limitations, of course.
Social distancing.
Masks.
High risk or folks who are uncomfortable 
meeting so soon in our "hot spot" city
encouraged to continue worshipping together from home via live stream.
We are rejoicing!
Exultant in our eagerness to be together again!

But today, our congregation lamented.
I would encourage you to watch as our pastor
shares about lament and our family
shared the losses and suffering that have become
life in 2020.

I did not submit my lament for a couple reasons.
First, I have not personally experienced a lot of loss
during this time. 
I have experienced change,
but I have not experienced loss.
I have still received my exact monthly income.
I have still eaten well.
I have still been able to see my children and grandchildren and friends
via porch visits.
I have lost some inconsequential things:
canceled trips, picking my own fruit and veggies at the grocery store.
I have missed having my granddaughter spend the night,
but that is not a permanent thing.
We will play together, snuggle together again soon,
and porch visits and video calls have been a fun adventure!
And the fact that I'm an introvert
sheltered in place with my favorite person
has made isolation pleasant rather than lonely and depressing.
So I have not personally suffered from this time of isolation.

I have grieved over the losses of others.
Friends and relatives who have been sick and alone,
who have lost loved ones to this virus.
Those who have lost loved ones to other causes
and been unable to honor them and find the closure they wanted,
unable to shelter in the comforting hugs of friends and family.
Those who are sheltered alone and in abject loneliness.
Those who have been hospitalized
without the support of their family around them.
I have grieved for the lost school days, graduations, weddings,
those once-in-a-lifetime celebrations that never be recovered.
I have grieved for those whose livelihoods have been put on hold
or disappeared all together.
I have grieved for the business owners and their employees
as daily announcements of permanent closure make the news.
But while I grieve for my friends,
for mankind,
these losses have not personally touched my daily existence.
This is secondary grief.
It is NOT the same for me as it is for those who are experiencing it!

In fact, for me, this time of isolation
has been a time of recovery from too much busyness.
It has been a time of spiritual reflection and growth.
It has been a time of drawing nearer to my husband and my God.

Secondly, I did not submit my lament
because it was personal.
You see, my lament is not of the physical variety,
but of the spiritual.
It is an ongoing lament,
most assuredly not exclusive to the losses and laments
brought about by COVID-19,
one I have brought before God many times in my life,
and so it did not feel appropriate for our church service today.
Nonetheless, I would like to share it.

Gina's Lament

Oh Lord my God,
Father God,
Daddy God
I am embarrassed.
Here I am again.
And again.
And again.

Do I trust You?
I fear loss.
I have lost one husband.
My best friend.
My companion.
My lover.

Do I trust You?
I fear loss.
Virus.
Autoimmune.
Age.

Do I trust You?
I fear loss.
I cannot do it again.
My husband.
My best friend.
My companion.
My lover.

Do I trust You?
Do I trust You?
Do.
I.
Trust.
You?

The LORD says, 
My thoughts are not like yours.
Your ways are not like mine.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Job 13:15

I trust You,
Oh Lord my God.
My Father God.
My Daddy God.
I trust You!




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