These are some of the questions that were asked as I participated in a Trauma Healing workshop this month. The main facilitators were Mary Crickmore, World Renew’s team leader for West Africa, and Dorothy Taft from the American Bible Society.
One of the interesting parts of this training included writing a lament similar to the psalms that King David wrote. Laments are a way for someone to express fully and freely to God whatever complaints they have while recognizing the constant love and care He provides. Psalm 13 is an example of a lament that includes several components:
- Address God to honor Him
- Review God’s faithfulness in the past
- Share a complaint
- Confess sin or claim innocence
- Request for help
- State God’s response (sometimes not included)
- Vow to praise or commit to trust in God
As I tried to write my lament, I found myself constantly reflecting not just on my complaints but also on the many things that I have to thank and praise God for. I share with you this collection of thoughts from my reflection on a world in suffering and a season of thanksgiving for the gift of God’s love expressed through the birth and life of His Son.
Lament with Thanks
Lord, you are the Almighty Creator, our refuge and strength.
There is no one who can match your power and majesty.
Give us your Spirit and energize us.
All praise to you for your unfailing love and faithfulness!
It is such a contrast to the temporary, conditional love of humanity.
Forgive us and change our selfish and prideful hearts; teach us to love as you love.
Hear our prayer, O God, for our world is full of trouble and suffering.
How precious it is to know that you are always listening!
Open the channel of our ears to our hearts so that we may listen with love.
People are crying everywhere for help and healing. It is too much!
How amazing is your power to save and comfort!
Use us as your instruments of embrace, rescue and peace.
People are asking “where is your God?” or even blame you for their troubles.
Yet, you are ever-present and even trying to speak your power through creation.
Let us walk with those in pain, in ways that help them see you and your great love shining through.
How long will it be before you stop the despots and abusers who misuse their power to harm others?
Your justice and mercy are all that is needed to give life in its fullest measure.
Teach us to help in ways that heal and protect instead of hurting others with our savior mentality.
Deal with those leaders of nations who seek their own honor, who fight like elephants in conflict.
You are able to give victory over sin and evil because you are the Prince of Peace.
Bless all those who are peacemakers, who restore the “grass” of people who have been trampled.
Hear the moans of children whose stomachs are hurting today from hunger.
For you are Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider.
Proclaim your good news through gifts we share; of food and of teaching parents to feed children well.
Free those who are oppressed by evil, violence and beliefs in lies about themselves.
How precious is your truth, justice and mercy that reconciles and heals all broken relationships!
Help us work your righteousness and justice in all our ways and in all our collaborations.
Arise and shine, Lord, for your light has come and your glory rises on us.
Create a new story for all who suffer so that the sound of weeping will be heard no more.
Let our labor not be in vain, as we commit the work of our hands and hearts into your service.
In you, O Lord, do we put our trust and hope!
We give thanks to you and glorify your Name!
For your love endures forever! Amen!
Blessings to you in Christ,
World Renew Canada