It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. When life is heavy
and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the
worst. Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return.–
Lamentations 3:26, 28-31 The Message.
A couple of weeks ago, a colleague shared an image that spoke to my heart. He said that the way to move forward into this year is to embrace both hope and lament. They are two sides of a coin and both are necessary.This has been a tough time for many of us on lots of levels. There is a profound sense of uncertainty and fear in our world. War, poverty, addiction, injustice, politics and media in disarray, and more remind us of the grip of sin on all creation. As our Order of Confession says, “we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.”
Lament invites us to lean into our pain and fear, to “take it full-face”, to confess, weep and pray. Ignoring the pain of our lives and of our world only deepens the darkness. The pathway to wholeness is always through our pain and fear, never around it. Hope, on the other hand, invites us to see beyond the darkness. Hope invites us to believe that we are never alone, but that Jesus is always with us and at work in ways we can’t even imagine. Hope empowers us to walk through our challenges, trusting that Love holds our hand and that Love will see us through.
Lament without hope paralyzes us. Hope without lament separates us from reality. Both are needed to move forward through the uncertainty and opportunity of this year.
So, what do you need to lament? What pain from the past or fear about the future do you need to lean into? Go ahead. Weep and pray. And open your heart to hope, to the voice of Love that whispers, See, I am making all things new. Rev 21:5 NRSV Want to get started? Read Psalm 55 slowly and prayerfully.
Blessings and Hope,
Pastor Linda Vogelgesang
Vital Faith – Compassionate Hearts – Relevant Life