A Book of Lament ~ Retreat for Suicide Survivors (Second Wednesday in Lent)

arthur3 lament

The Bible contains an entire book devoted to the subject of Lamentations.  Many people are unaware of this little book; many are unaware that the Bible, one way or another, covers the entire range of human emotion.

The Book of Lamentations records a response on behalf of an exiled people ~ the battle lost, the city destroyed, the people led away to an unfamiliar destination.  It is thus a book of community,  pertaining to a specific episode in the history of that community.

The book is not entirely helpful for those who grieve.  The emphasis on loss as a consequence of sin, on God’s destruction of a city ~ no.  But it can be helpful to know that the Bible contains wails of lament, and to translate communal cries of anguish on behalf of a city into individual cries on behalf of a family.  There have always been others expressing solidarity with those who mourn.

Cry aloud to the Lord!
O wall of daughter Zion!
Let tears stream down like a torrent
day and night!
Give yourself no rest,
your eyes no respite!  (Lamentations 2:18)

2 thoughts on “A Book of Lament ~ Retreat for Suicide Survivors (Second Wednesday in Lent)

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  1. I was in seminary and began an Old Testament class on the Book of Job 2 weeks after my sister died by suicide. I was unsure that I would be able to handle it and so I let the professor know that. It turned out that I not only finished the class but it helped me heal in ways I still draw on today. Growing up believing that I had to pull myself together and not complain was an impediment to my grieving. Job, and God’s response to Job, helped me to see that lament was a very important human response to suffering.

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    1. Debra, I was in seminary when my son died, and my daughter was a senior in college. I was going to write a post about Job for this series, but maybe you would like to write a guest post? (Not that there can ever be too many posts on Job!)

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