The Importance of Lament – Part 2

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” – Jesus, Matt. 5:4

Like so many people, I have been deeply affected upon hearing the story of Rick Warren’s son, Matthew, committing suicide. Rick Warren, in such an open and vulnerable way, shared an e-mail where he spoke about his brokenness. It was painful to read because death is always painful. I am reminded of a scene in Lord of the Rings (Two Towers) when King Theoden is at his son’s grave site and says “no parent should have to bury their child.” It is a reminder of the unspeakable anguish of what a parent feels when they lose a child.

In our culture, there is such a stigma about mental illness and suicide. These are the taboo topics that many in evangelical circles, or religious circles in general, don’t want to talk about. However, the more people don’t talk about it, the more people are forced to bear the pain alone. Losing a child is difficult (and that’s an understatement) but to heap feelings of shame and guilt on top of that doesn’t help. When someone dies from a terminal disease, we don’t deem their death as weakness or something that we must hide from others. Just because the illness happens in the brain does not make it less of an illness. I really hope and pray that our reaction to anyone’s death is one full of compassion and grief instead of sanctimonious platitudes of self-righteousness bereft of love and grace.

Death is devastating. As a Christian, it is but another reminder of the broken, fallen world that we live in. Death was not part of the original plan. It came as a result of sin. And so when we see it, our minds and our hearts are jolted back to the reality that the system is broken. While we long and yearn to see the day when there shall be no more death, that glorious day when God shall wipe away every tear from our eyes, we do not live in that dream just yet. Instead, we are thrust into living a nightmare that we cannot wake up from. And in this horrible place, we can do nothing but mourn. Mourn for the death of our loved one. Mourn for the sins of the world. Mourn for the life that is no more. Mourn for our broken dreams and shattered lives.

When we are humble enough to be honest with ourselves and with God, when we throw away our masks and in absolute nakedness present our whole selves to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Bible says that He will comfort us. He will give us consolation. He will give us a peace which passes all understanding. We cannot forget that the Lover of our soul experienced the touch of death Himself. He knows Death rather intimately. But He also knows that Death will ultimately be swallowed up by His victory. On that day, we shall rejoice more fully. However, today, when the promise of life looks bleak, He is there to hold our hands and weep with us. The tears shall pour forth. The confusion will remain.  And He will lovingly and graciously wrap His arms around us, and give us rest.

I hope and pray that we, as members of His body, would continue to lift up Rick Warren’s family in prayer. May He use us to be vessels of love, grace, and encouragement during such a time as this.

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Wednesday Writings – 12.12.12.

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Wednesday Writings on this most auspicious day! lolz Just think, on 12.21.12, it will all be over! hahaha If only the Mayans are correct, then that will save me a lot of money that would go to buying Christmas presents 😛

Today’s poem was inspired during the Ramadan season when I was living in North Africa. During this time, there’s a special night called “Night of Power” or “Night of Destiny”. Basically, during this night, your prayers count more than usual. As the people around me stayed longer in the mosques and devoted themselves to prayer, it gave me time to also think and meditate. This is the result. Hope you enjoy it!

Desert 034

Night of Destiny

Darkness, light withheld, solitude
The road so isolated, the path so obscure
Trusting that He has called you, the calling so loud and clear
Only His voice reassures you, comforts you, calms you

The voices within scream so loudly
Humiliation, rejection, threats of failure
The fear so strong, the doubts so sure
There’s no way that you can get out unscathed

Then the beatings begin
Words that inspire confusion, acts that inspire destruction
Quenching the hope, obliterating the dream
Only the Accuser comes at you, laughs at you, throws distractions at you

Darkness, light withheld, solitude
The road so isolated, the path so obscure
Forgetting that He has called you, the calling so faint to hear
His voice so far away, far away, far away

Light, darkness withheld, joy
The cloud of witnesses, the narrow road so obvious
Answering the call, the call implanted in the soul within
His Words leaping in our heart, a response to its Maker

The Accuser accused
The Accuser displayed
The Accuser accursed
The Accuser defeated

If the Answer is so true, why do my feelings feel that it is false?
If I know the Outcome of the situation, why do I live in fear?
If the Accuser is defeated, why do I live in defeat?
If I know the Son has set me free, why do I still live in bondage?

The moon, the glorious orb, the night
In its light, radiant light, solemnity envelops me
In the coolness, He breathes new life
For this night, it is the night

This night, this night, this glorious night
Destiny reveals its purpose

Night of Destiny pt. II

The thunder rages
The lightning strikes
The rain pours
Could this be divine sorrow?

How the heathens rage
How the kings conspire
How the people rebel
Yet, the rain falls on the just and the unjust

Your love extended
Your grace freely given
Your mercy pourèd
How long will they grieve your heart?

Sing to me of the plans that You have
Sing to me of the purpose that You have
Sing to me of Your unfailing love
Sing, lest my soul loses all hope

God of all nations, hear my cry
God of the Gentiles, I call unto Thee
God of the Chosen Nation, see this nation’s plight
May You draw us near, nearer to God, to Thee

The thunder rages
The lightning strikes
The rain pours
But it is You, Who calms the storm

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