(Pastoral Ministry Tuesdays are reserved for reflections on my story and this life as a pastor.)
I have so much I want to say today but all I feel is lament.
Every time I have started a post for today, I’ve erased it. I don’t feel there is anything I can put into words right now that adequately conveys what I am thinking or feeling.
I am lamenting injustice.
I am lamenting the unrelenting trauma being caused for my black and brown brothers and sisters.
I am lamenting the selfish, ugly acts of infiltrators who are taking advantage of important protests and innocent protesters to steal and destroy.
I am lamenting a president who coopts two icons of my faith to manipulate people and do more harm. No one can believably claim to be following Jesus and do what he did Monday night.
I am lamenting the violence done to more and more unarmed black people in a long, unbroken and vicious line of history.
I am lamenting this feeling of powerlessness that my friends of color know all too well.
I am lamenting my inability to figure out how to make all this better.
I am lamenting the cost of these days and the things taking place in them to our church, our city and our country. We have no idea how trauma effects people if we think the consequences of these days won’t be felt in the generations yet to be born. I lament the way these days will echo destructively in our collective soul.
I am lamenting that my family in Christ is divided and so many are more loyal to an ideology than to the Imago Dei.
I am lamenting for every shop keeper, hourly wage worker and business person who has lost their job, their business and their dream.
I am lamenting for those who are so afraid of COVID they can’t join in demonstrations.
I am lamenting for those so confident about safety from COVID they are being exposed and will in turn expose others to a deadly pandemic.
I am lamenting for the name of Jesus that is being used and abused.
I am lamenting because our grief over Ahmaud and Breonna and George is being compounded and made harder by opportunists and the indifferent.
I lament for the families of Ahmaud and Breonna and George who cannot even process their own grief and loss because of what is happening around us.
I lament because I live in daily fear now for my friends of color. I want to guard them and protect them and watch out for them. I pray for them and remind God to watch over them every day. But still, I know that the evil, free-will acts of men will continue until Jesus comes again.
I lament until Jesus comes again.
And I know these are words and I know I said there aren’t any words that feel right or enough or adequate to convey what I feel and think right now. And these words don’t but it does feel right to share my lament and invite you, whoever you are reading this, to join with me to lament.
Lord, hear my prayer!
Listen to my plea!
Don’t turn away from me
in my time of distress.
Bend down to listen,
and answer me quickly when I call to you.
For my days disappear like smoke,
and my bones burn like red-hot coals.
My heart is sick, withered like grass,
and I have lost my appetite.