To the Church: A Call for Lament

Dear Soul,

There’s something missing for you. You have no place to be free to lament. It’s not in the culture, it’s not in the church. It’s not in our schools and it’s not at our work.

Where will you grieve the silent pain of your suffering?

Where will you anguish over the heart break in your past?

Where will you cry for the curses set down on your ancestors?

Where will your body testify to it’s story?

Dear Church,

We must carve out the sacred places and spaces for us to lament.

We must create safety to bear witness to the tearing of robes, the gnashing of teeth and the wails of the desperate.

We must clear our pews and our mega auditoriums and prepare to witness the groans of the trapped and oppressed.

We must SHUT -UP from the pulpit and turn our hearts back to the loving and perfect Father who DOES not deceive and who does not have an agenda.

We must LAMENT.

“They have treated my people’s brokenness superficially, claiming, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.” -Jeremiah 6:14

And so I say, WOE to you who say peace peace peace! You say: “trust more, pray more, all is well.”

I say SHAME on you, superficial with your coffee and your air conditioning and your pleasant Sunday Service.

Do you see your own wounds? Are you afraid to weep?

You have said to us “there there” and then turned and walked away because fame and validation was calling your name.

There’s no validation in sitting in the gutter of sorrow with a soul, is there?

Well, if you cannot do this Pastor, Shepherd, Teacher, Deacon, Sister, Brother, Elder…. I will do it for you.

Dear Soul,

For the soul who has been shamed because of pregnancy outside of marriage. I lament.

For the soul who has been beaten because of the color of their skin. I lament

For the soul who has given their infant to someone else, to carry to freedom. I lament.

For the soul whose spouse has raped her spiritually, sexually, and emotionally. I lament.

For the soul whose scars are deeply embedded from your father’s neglect. I lament.

For the soul that is riddled with pride. I lament.

For the soul whose mind is imprisoned because of mental illness. I lament.

For the soul whose trapped in the bondage of sexual addiction. I know you don’t want this. I lament.

For the soul who abuses and shames others. I lament..

For the soul who has betrayed another. I lament.

For the soul who has been told they are too feminine. I lament.

For the soul who has been told you are impure. I lament.

For the soul who has been told to “trust God” while the KKK stands in front of a cross and sign that says “Jesus Saves” I lament.

For the soul who is sold into sexual slavery. I lament.

For the soul who is confused because of the pain and suffering at the hands of the “church”. I lament.

For the soul who has lost family and grandbabies. I lament.

For the soul who is lost. I lament.

For the soul who feels alone. I lament.

For the masculine soul, you were told not to cry and be a man. I lament.

For the feminine soul, you were told not to have an identity, not to ask or speak out of turn. I lament.

For the soul that wanders seeking the next high. I lament.

For the soul that was abandoned in all the ways. I lament.

For the soul who refuses to look at their wounds. I lament.

For the soul who is lost outside of the body. I lament.

For all these things and more I tear my clothes, lift my eyes, spread ash over my face, fall on my knees in a pool of my own agony….

“For my groans are many and I am sick at heart. My eyes are worn out from weeping; I am churning within. My heart is poured out in grief because of the destruction of my dear people;”

For YOUR soul.

Who in the Universe agonizes and moans for your Soul?

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

My Dear Soul,

You were made to shine, not to be dimmed by the oppressions of your time.

You were made to be well, not to be lamed by the wickedness which hunts you.

You were made to be empowered, not small from the shame and blame they shoved in your face.

Soul,

I wish you could dwell in the freedom I taste now. Freedom during pain, suffering, death and resurrections.

I can’t make you see. I can’t force you.

I know you will see your shine when you are shown the empathy and kindness of many. Those of us who lament.

I can carve out the spaces and places for you to be safe.

SOUL! “Pour out your heart like water before the Lord’s presence, lift up your hands to him.”

I will be with you and I will hold up my hands beside yours.

Our tired hands will proclaim the liberty of lament.

Soul,

I can love you.

As Jesus loves.

You are not alone.

Love,

Rochelle Sadie

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