One of the ways you can worship in your Ground Zero is by lamenting. Lament is the passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Biblical laments are prayers of faith because they are addressed to the object of our faith. Many times people need permission to lament because they do not know it is okay to ask God ‘why?’ or to cry out to God against the injustice.
I remember standing in the Emergency room where they had just pronounced our 6-year-old daughter dead, after a session of trying to resuscitate her. I was numb and had no words or tears. I was in shock. Where as my husband had many words, he cried out to God Non- Stop for 2-3 hours, holding her hand, and using words to describe the pain of his heart. I believe that is how worship looks like in grief. It does not have to be polished, it need not fear to ask questions to God, it need not impress or cater to the people around, it need not be theologically sound, for once! All that matters is that it is addressed to the right person. That is what you see in the anguish of men of faith who lamented before God.
“Faith and lament are not antithetical. In circumstances of distress, lament may well be the only possible form of faithfulness to God. ” Billman and Migliore (Rachel’s Cry)
In another season of trial, I remember going thru searing pain in my life and shutting down all my senses. This was the time I endured an affliction that involved a group of very trusted people betraying me, and then demonizing me with slanders, and finally abandoning me. I remember becoming numb with emotional pain. I had come to the end in myself and couldn’t process anymore. I couldn’t even cry. In those times, what I lacked was language to describe the pain. I couldn’t categorize the trauma. I had not been around someone who endured this kind of trauma to realize what I would name it. It was emotional trauma at its worst and I couldn’t describe it. I remember writing, “Lord, this feels like a spiritual rape, where are you? People are tearing my dignity apart. They are ganging up and talking lies about me, they are passing my testimony and reputation as something to be exposed and ripped apart.”
Finally, when I was able to take a pen and name the affliction in the pages of my journal, I had a letdown. Tears flowed Non- Stop. I felt waves of emotions waxing and waning. The numbness gave way to a more expressive pain that could be felt and lamented unto God. It was still painful, but now I could cry out, no more stuffing and panic attack.
We need language to describe the pain and lament is the language of grief unto God.
If you are in mourning, you have the opportunity to worship in the most powerful way possible: lamentation. This worship isn’t done in order to have God remove the pain. It simply recognizes that God stands in the moment with us. Graham Cooke