Woe are we

N.T. Wright, the great Christian thinker and author of our day, wrote a piece for Time magazine recently. It’s got a click-bait style title but, yet, has an important message for us today: we must learn to lament again.

It’s tempting to push for answers, to try and provide an answer to what is, ultimately, inexplicable. Why did God allow this to happen? There is, in this life, no complete answer to that question. Why won’t God stop it from happening? There is, in this life, no complete answer to that question.

There is, however, the example of the Psalms. Over and over again, the Psalmist declares, “woe is me,” using poetic language that invites us to imagine ourselves in the position of the author. Hear Psalm 38: “There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.” The author is clearly suffering in body, somehow. And rather than looking to God for answers, the author instead simply pours out his soul.

That, I think, is the task: to pour out our souls. There is healing power when we are authentic with God in prayer, coming simply as we are.

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