Lord, Remember Me

One of God's weekly smiles comes in the gathering of believers that meets in my home.  We've become like family to one another in many ways.  We eat together, we study the scriptures together and we recreate together.  Best of all we find that we're growing together in fits and starts to better bear God's image in the world.

Last night we talked a bit about grieving loss and pain.  Each of us have lost some things in our lives that were dear to us - perhaps some things we held too dear - but whatever, we've lost some things, some influence, some possessions, some relationships, some vocations or some dreams.  We've been hurt and we've hurt others.

We talked a bit about how to process grief, and how the ancient Jewish poets reckoned losses and hurts they were experiencing with God's great promises to them.  We call those songs "laments".  

A lament simply starts with expression of deep sorrow or grief.  No holds barred and nothing held back.  All the hurt, all the pain - get it out on the table for God and the world to see.  The great lament Psalms as well as many of the prophetic books are beautiful examples of how real people got real with God - no sugar coatings or trite happy sayings or giddy denials of reality.

But because of their great God, and his saving work in their lives in the past - they had faith.  Even still, given their pain and loss - those folks held on to some core beliefs in their all-powerful-always-good God and his great promises of a bright Kingdom future for them.

So their laments ended not in some nihilistic abyss, but with hopeful expressions of their faith.  And thus their souls were soothed.  They made sense of their lives and after the mourning and grieving - they got up.  They got up with the strength of heart and mind to build and rebuild and go back at life again in hope.

That's how laments worked for them, and I'm finding that's how they work for me.

Here's a beautiful lament song that I can't stop tearfully singing.  Andrew Peterson's Remember Me comes from the place of the thief on the cross hanging next to Jesus.

Check out how the song begins in grief.  
"There is none righteous, no not one,
We are prodigal daughters and wayward sons
We don't know the half of the hurt we've done
The countless we have killed"
But then, look how it ends...
"But before the breath there in the tomb,
before our joy sprang from the womb,
You saw a day that's coming soon.

When the Son will stand on the mount again,
with an army of angels at His command,
and the earth will split like the hull of a seed,
wherever Jesus plants his feet.

And up from the earth, the dead will rise,
like spring trees robed in petals of white,
singing the song of the radiant bride..."

Oh man - that's gonna be a good day indeed...

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