Who among you believe that grieving and lamentation are symptoms of despair?
Only the hopeless are silent in the face of calamity—
Silenced because they no longer aspire even to be heard, much less heeded.
The labor of lament, on the other hand, is premised on the expectation that grief’s rule will be bound by the Advent of Another.
The liturgy of grief transforms the pain of lament into passion for an outcome forged in justice and tempered in mercy.
Such an outcome is not ours to impose by strength of will
Or accomplished by force of threat;
Yet it does demand of us relentless struggle and steadfast resolve.
Come, you whose beds are awash in weeping,
You whose portion is tear-mingled wine and bread of mourning.
Come, come to the mountain of Refuge.
There the Spirit, as with Jesus before, kneels ready to bathe your feet with her tears.
Hear this Word of assurance, you of wavering endurance:
The moment nears when those sowing in tears will reap shouts of extravagant joy.
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. Inspired by Psalm 6:6; 42:3; 80:5; 102:9; Luke 7:38; Psalm 126:5. For an ecumenical “Service of Lament and Healing” following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.