A Time for Lament

For a while we were able to rattle off the cities or the names of various people and incidents where someone died. Every place from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Ferguson to Fort Hood to Charleston to Orlando to Dallas to Nice. But now the litany has become too long and transformed into one long cry. Not a cry for a rally but literally a cry of lament.

What makes it worse are the untold tragedies that never make the gloomy headline or salacious click-bait. Those daily tears are shed in silence.

As the world self-destructs, its violence born from Godless roots, we have little left. Our knees and shoulders go weak and slump as we crumple before the throne of God and weep.

So much destruction.
So much death.
So much despair.

Sadness has overwhelmed me – like a cloak thick enough to blot out the noonday sun.

And so we cry out:

How long O Lord? Will you utterly forget me?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul?
Sorrow in my heart day after day.*

Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will God indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable?*

Rise up, judge of the earth…
How long O Lord shall the wicked exult? They pour out their arrogant words.*

Look upon me, have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart; bring me out of my distress.
Look upon my affliction and suffering; take away all my sins.
See how many are my enemies, see how fiercely they hate me.
Preserve my soul and rescue me; do not let me be disgraced, for in you I seek refuge.*

Together we must cry out to God for mercy. We are a broken people. In that cry of repentance we learn to trust. The tears we shed can and will water the ground of faith and hope. Only in that painful expression can we know the compassion of God the merciful.

We deserve worse.
We deserve judgment.
We have earned the need for another epic Genesis flood.

Many say, “May we see better times!”
Oh Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordwill keep me safe.*

Oh Lord, Hallowed be your name.
Your Will be done.
Deliver us from evil and forgive our constant sins.
Your kingdom come….Quickly, Lord.



Scriptures quoted: Psalm 13:1-2; Jeremiah 15:18; Psalm 94:2-4; Psalm 25:16-20; Psalm 4: 6-8

Leave a Comment

Fun Fridays – July 15, 2016

If we can’t laugh at ourselves we are doomed. Enjoy today’s commercial break. (Add new words or phrases in the comments below but don’t use any of them in your next writing project!)

Read More

What’s Wrong with my Book?

As you can imagine, we see hundreds of proposals and manuscripts each month. And, as you can also imagine, we must decline most. However, there are a few mistakes you can avoid to help your submission rise above others: Not beginning the story in the right place. All too often, …

Read More

When You Must *Not* Wait

I shared, in a previous blog (“The Hardest Part of Being a Writer“), about the difficulty of waiting during the writing journey. Well, I’m happy to report that there is an area where you not only don’t have to wait, but you shouldn’t, and that’s building your audience through social …

Read More

Theological Accountability Partners

Just because an author is a mature Christian, doesn’t mean they are immune from writing something containing shaky theology. In an effort to craft compelling phrases and stories, orthodox theology can sometimes be a casualty of creativity or even carelessness. Most often it is entirely accidental. I referenced this issue …

Read More

ICRS Observations 2016

On the last week of June Dan Balow and I attended the 2016 International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Cincinnati. It was my 35th consecutive year attending…which only means I’m old… By now you may have heard some reports regarding the low attendance, which are true. There were only 2,114 …

Read More

Fun Fridays – July 8, 2016

Blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii plays his own composition at Carnagie Hall. The piece is titled “Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan.” Around the three minute mark you’ll see something very touching as he performs. Does your own writing move you?

Read More

The Dark Side of Silence

It took me a long time to be comfortable with silence. I am, in essence, a Golden Retriever crossed with an otter, so I’m all about fun, fun, fun! I gotta play, gotta move, gotta be in the middle of whatever is happening. Whee! Ain’t life a barrel of puppies?? …

Read More

Printing ≠ Publishing or Publishing > Printing

Getting publishing’ definitions wrong can cause a complete disconnect in a conversation. “How many books are you going to publish?” “Maybe about 50 per year.” “Huh? That’s all? Don’t some publishers do thousands at a time?” Or “How many books are you going to print this year?” “About a million” …

Read More