I was reminded of this excerpt from Psalm 137, today:
1By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?
It was in an article about the exhaustion we are all feeling at this point in the pandemic. Exiled from much of what was normal social life, normal working life, and normal worship life, we are weary. We are wondering how we can sing the songs of the Lord as we continue through the foreign land of this pandemic.
And while my first instinct is to rush to answers – to encourage you to sing any way (you should!), to say the songs haven’t changed (they haven’t!), to say God still listens and empower our praise (He does!), the article I read endorsed simply sitting with the question for a while. Being ok with not being ok. Being willing to lament in a time of sorrow. Being willing to cast our uncertainty and grief upon God, who can take it.
That isn’t a comfortable place for me, but it may be what these days call for. What is one supposed to do in a time of exile except lament? We are in extraordinary, unprecedented times. There are no simple answers right now. And crying out to the Lord int he midst of this complexity, is an act of faith.
So I invite you into faithful lament. Faithful crying out. The faithfulness of being ok with not being ok, when the times themselves are not ok. And I pray you will know God’s presence in the midst of your lament.
We don’t know how long we will be crying out to God, but dear friends, keep crying out, God is bending down to listen.