The practice of lament is an ancient one, which psychology still finds relevant today. It is the expression of grief and sadness, in order to let them go. Larry Culliford in 'Psychology Today' notes:
Without lamentation, without the emotional healing process advancing towards resolution, this (assimilating our losses - ed.) cannot happen; in which case, misery can only persist.
Surely, this is a season for lament with so much pain surrounding us. Our own experience here in Sydney, of an ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19, is reason enough. Adding to that the devastating climate crisis, and the wars and woes of the world, threatens to overwhelm us with despair.
The Bible contains not only a whole book of lament ('Lamentations'), but utilises this ancient wisdom often, especially in the Psalms, the book of poetry, largely attributed to the great Jewish King David (c.1000 BCE). Hence, people from our Explore groups worked together to express our lament regarding our own pain. I will share one lament at a time (with their permission), hoping it may help to give voice to your grief, so that you may pass through that door, into hope.
Lament for the Great Barrier Reef
Our Creator and Salvation, Source of Love and Peace.
We groan at the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef that you made, as such a wonder of the world. Each place where it is ruined may be lost forever. Our children and grandchildren may never see it in its glory. Like a shadow of what was.
We know Lord you are a creator, and we have witnessed regeneration occur after fires and floods. May we be wise in how we care for our land and sea, creating an environment for regrowth.
Let this wave of climate change pass over our reef gently and without further damage.
Merciful Creator, return peoples' hearts to the wonder of this unique, underwater beauty. Have mercy on us and help us to restore what has been lost, so we may witness your splendour and diversity again.
May we know that you are the Lord of the deep
May we see your light in the dance of colour
May we care for the good gift that you have entrusted us with.
To You be all praise, honour and glory, our Creator and our God.
A joint work of the Wednesday Eco Explore Group
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.