a lament

I’m not much of a poetry person.

Don’t get me wrong—I love poetry. It makes me feel things. But, given the choice of any genre, it’s not what I turn to for leisure reading. Depending on the poet, most attempts on my part to understand what they’re saying leaves me only confused and vaguely insulted by my own incompetence. And forget writing poetry—in those endeavors, I’m a child on a training-wheel-less bike, peddling madly down the road, all passion and no finesse.

It’s understandable, then, that I have few poetic lines stored in my memory. Nevertheless, this afternoon I was reflecting on the past week and the words of Wordsworth came floating to the surface: “The world is too much with us.”

The world is too much—at least, it’s seemed so lately. Worsening conflict in Syria and Turkey. Male pastors mocking their sisters in Christ. Three different suicides in three different places that are dear to my heart. Kanye West has released an album called “Jesus is King,” and Donald Trump, Jr., has written a book called Triggered. There’s a lot going on right now, my friends.

And there’s such a cacophony of voices: trending twitter hashtags, constant articles on major news sites, pastors and preachers and priests and politicians with all sorts of opinions. How do we keep up? How can we not, in the midst of it all, grow deaf and callous?

“We are out of tune” indeed, Wordsworth.

I started to write this blog post as a response to John Macarthur’s “go home” comment to Beth Moore, which is linked above. I found myself so furious and heartbroken that my writing was useless—I had no real message to share, only sorrow at the jagged fractures in the American church.

What do we do with our disillusionment, our hopelessness, our fury? A professor I met for coffee yesterday reminded me: we lament. We pray out of pain. It’s what the psalmist did. Job, Habbakuk, Jeremiah. Jesus, too.

Lord, save us from our heavy world. We know not how to bear its burdens.

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