The Psalmist wrote hymns of praise, jubilation, and even lament. A modern-day psalmist - Ann Weems - has written incredibly beautiful words of lament following the death of her son in her book Psalms of Lament. Like the biblical Psalmist, Ann peppers her psalms with raw honesty, authentic pain, questioning and even doubt, yet always finds her way back to the God of all comfort, our only TRUE SOURCE of joy, our Rock, Shield and Defender.
Here is one that resonated with me today - Lament Psalm Nine:
"Come to me, O God; set me free from this agony. O God, O God, O God, please help me! Every waking moment is filled with the pain of that moment. Every night is filled with terror and with fear. O God, how did it happen? Where were you? Why didn't you stop it? O God! All's wrong with the world! It is my voice, O God, that sobs to you before the day breaks. Like a balloon that is released to the sky, my prayer makes its way to you, O God, before the sun rises. Everywhere I turn, doors are slammed shut. O God, do not slam the door of heaven in my face! O God, the world has been drained of color!
The music has been turned off! the silent shroud covers any green that remains. All is grey and smells of death. I fear for the death of my spirit, O God. I wrestle to hold onto the deep places of my inner being. My soul is in danger, Save me, O God, save me! Consider my weeping, O Holy One, be tenderhearted when you speak to me. Handle my bruised heart with gentleness, for without you, I am nothing. O God, you speak, and the sky is alive with music! Your hand reaches out and colors the world with a touch! My soul is a rainbow! My sobbing bursts into song! My God is here!"
Thank you, Ann, for articulating what many in sorrow feel; thank you for leading us back to God, our strength, to Jesus our Wounded Healer, to the Holy Spirit, our comforter.