Abductive Columns

Sunday, May 22, 2005


It was Sunday morning, a week ago. For several weeks I had been lamenting; mad a God, disappointed in the very life he had given me. Yet this morning was different; awakened before dusk by uncontrollable tears. I didn't understand why. I had never cried this way. Nevertheless, throughout the day tears filled my eyes. While lamenting decisions are much more difficult to make but on this day God helped me get in my car and drive three hours to my mother's grave. Off and on I cried as I drove; sometimes out loud but always in a steady stream of wetness.

After placing flowers on my mother's grave I drove to Barnes & Noble to spend a couple of hours doing what I love to do most; browse the isles looking and skimming every book of interest. Yet within the first ten minutes God led me to Michael Card's newest book Sacred Sorrow. I read the back cover, skimmed the Introduction and immediately made my way to the cashier. It was a gift sent by God.

With intermittent periods of lamenting I exited the ramp and began my journey back home. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, a perfect day to drive and allow the uncontrollable tears to cleanse my soul.

I stopped at a rest stop to spend a few minutes reading Scared Sorrow. Hours later, in tears, I finally put it down. I was given a whole new appreciation for the idea that timing is of the Lord. On this day, God gently led my heart, at its deepest level, through the final stages of lamenting. All this to say, thank you Michael Card, for what it must have cost you to write this book.

Eugene Peterson said, "It's an odd thing. Jesus wept. Job wept. David wept. Jeremiah wept. They did it openly. Their weeping became a matter of public record. Their weeping, sanctioned by inclusion in our Holy Scriptures, a continuing and reliable witness that weeping has an honored place in the life of faith.

But just try it yourself. Even, maybe especially, church where these tear-soaked Scriptures are provided to shape our souls and form our behavior. Before you know it, a half-dozen men and women surround you with handkerchiefs, murmuring reassurances, telling you that it is going to be alright, intent on helping you to "get over it."

Why are Christians, of all people, embarrassed by tears, uneasy in the presence of sorrow, unpracticed in the language of lament? It certainly is not a biblical heritage, for virtually all our ancestors in the faith were thoroughly "acquainted with grief." And our Savior was, as everyone knows, "a Man of Sorrows."
From the back of the book:
God desires for us to pour our hearts to Him, whether in joy or pain. But many of us don't feel right expressing our anger, frustration, and sadness in prayer. Our personal worship experience is not complete unless we understand the lost language of lament.

In Sacred Sorrow, author, musician, and Bible teacher Michael Card takes you through the Scriptures to show you what your worship life has been missing.

From Job to David to Jesus, men and women of the Bible understood the importance of pouring one's heart out to the Father. Examine the stories and expand your definition of worship. Let your pain, questions, and sorrow resound with praise to a God who is moved by your tears.


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