This is a collection of laments I wrote for a worship service I led with a friend in my church. Modern worship is a bit too positive sometimes, but biblical worship makes room for disappointment, frustration, and mourning. Modern worship usually praises the singer as much as the Sung To, while these laments—written topically for those things that get us down —remind us that He’s God, we’re not, and that’s okay. Really, it’s okay. Even when it totally is not okay, it’s still okay. Or it’s going to be. The ship may totally go down with all of us on it, but it will still be okay. Okay?
ABUSE OF POWER When those enthroned usurp Sanctity from those in their care And when the lowly seek status In yet more enthroning – Lord, have mercy on us. THE AGE OF DISTRACTION When deep-rooted wisdom is pruned by short-cutted data, When the senses are dulled by the sensual, When Creation is blurred by the created And the created grow bored with Creation – Lord, have mercy on us. UNRESOLVED HOPE / UNANSWERED PRAYER When we listen in chambers of silence, When we search through tunnels that grow, When we hope against nature, believe against science, And stand firm in the face of a daunting approach – Lord, have mercy on us. BREVITY OF LIFE When we count our days like apples Dropping from the brittle branches of drought, When a child goes with more unrealized tomorrows Than remembered yesterdays, When our bodies no longer carry or recall Or agree to nourish our weight – Lord, have mercy on us. LACK OF PROVISION When the cupboards we maintenance Are as bare as brand new, When the fields we tend Yield nothing or less, When a paycheck is the substance Of things hoped and unheld – Lord, have mercy on us. APATHY When I simply cannot be asked, When tragedy holds harmony with gossip, When I prefer screens to windows, sleek skin to whole hearts, Pabst Blue Ribbon and pumpkin spice To pouring out spirit or providing sanctuary, When the nation, the state, the city, my people Can all go blank-verb themselves – Lord, have mercy on us. IN ANXIETY / DESPAIR / DEPRESSION When sleep beyond rest, When obscurity be my bed, When the locust devours my ties to the truth And when I open the window for his return – Lord, have mercy on us.