I was going through an old hymnal the other day looking at the old songs of lament, songs that have been sung and prayed by believers for thousands of years. It’s funny that so many of the lyrics from the hymnbook – the same words found in the Psalms – would feel so out of place in worship on Sunday morning or on our Christian radio stations?
And while I know that we have a God worthy of celebration, sometimes I fear that we sacrifice honesty on the altar of positivity.
I know many of us have had THAT phone conversation, THAT phone call as a part of our stories – when grief felt overwhelming and at a moment’s notice, your life was forever changed. And if you’ve been there you might know what it’s like to stand in church and just not be able to sing, to not know the words to pray. It’s not because you don’t believe, but because the words just seem hollow.
This is why we need songs of lament. They give us a song to sing in the shadows. In our pain, we need the rawness of the Psalms. We need to wrestle with God – to remember that wrestling is a form of intimacy. It’s choosing to engage with God rather than run away. And He is strong enough.
Jesus – our ultimate example – has wrestled, praying the psalm of lament: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
This gives us permission to be vulnerable. Whatever we’re going through, we can engage, wrestle lament. We can celebrate when we are joyful, but cry out in our pain and hurting. Because that’s when the healing begins.
You don’t have to wait until you can say something nice or something “holy”.
Just begin the conversation. Just sing something out.
The Song & Story of “Weep With Me” by Rend Collective:
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*Written by Chris Llewellyn, the lead singer of the internationally renowned Rend Collective. Married to wife Gabby, who also serves as the band’s social media director, the couple celebrated the birth of their son, Daniel, this past September