In 2017 a small but dedicated service came together at our church, open to everyone, in a simple attempt to create deliberate, focused time and space for those of us who needed or wanted to lament a seemingly endless accumulation of human tragedy and suffering throughout that entire year.

The year of devastating floods, hurricanes, earth quakes and wildfires; wars, humanitarian crises, refugees, despair; shootings, violence, hate, division and strife; grief, loss and pain.

Since then we have witnessed all the above happening all over the world:

over and over and over again.

Not to mention a Global Pandemic. Devastating sickness and death. International pain and mourning. Hate crimes, based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, politics. Climate injustice. Racial injustice. Police brutality. Inequality. Poverty. Hunger. Sexism. Misogyny. Mental health stigmas. White Supremacy. Extreme Nationalism. Anti-Semitism. Islamophobia. Asian Hate. Native American Hate. Oppressive Religions and Cults. Nativism. Terrorism; both international and domestic. Violent government take-overs or attempts thereof. Threats to democracy and freedom. Deep-seated political divisions and conspiracy theories. And even in this modern day and age, still more wars – terrible and utterly senseless wars, driven by the age-old evils of lust for power, greed, image, vengeance and pride; inflicting destruction and despair upon vulnerable human lives by selfish and insecure authoritarian “leaders.”

God, have mercy on us all.

And God does.

The World is hurting.

But — we are not alone.

We are all connected to each other. And more often than not, people care deeply. More people are calling out for lasting change and healing, and actually making it happen. More people are truly trying to make a difference.

And, we hold on to this ancient and present truth: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

I have clung to those very words myself. Years ago, dazed and heartbroken, I included them in a letter I tried to write to our mother, whom we had just lost to suicide; and placed it with her in her coffin, together with photos of her (then, two) grandchildren, one of my sister and I, and other very meaningful items.

Deep, genuine lament is not only part of most early spiritual traditions; it is also a necessary element of our human-ness. It fosters empathy for others, it connects us. It moves us outside of ourselves to want to go and help others. Sometimes that is as simple and uncomplicated as just being there with, or for, someone. Other times we might be called to do more. Ask your heart. Often, words aren’t even necessary.

Lament helps each one of us cope with the darkness. It relieves us. It comforts us.

It is a vital part of helping us grieve well.

With all of my heart, soul and strength; in both uncertainty and hope, I would like to share with you (again) this imperfect but heartfelt offering.

May we all feel the desperately needed Light shine upon us.

May we look up to receive that Light, and be comforted.

Hope, is here.

Change, is here.

And it starts with each one of us.

✨🕯 ✨ Saskia

music / lyrics: ©️Eliza Gilkyson, “Requiem”

decor / photography: ©️ Saskia Kidd @oraetdecora

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s