Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Honour in Heartfelt Lament

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?”
~Psalm 13:1 (NRSV)
It would be a lie to think that accusing God would comprise blasphemy. But many Christians, we can suspect, may feel they have to respect God so much as not to speak a word out of line; out of anger; to not speak their hearts. Why would we hide our words when we cannot hide our desperation and anger?
Yet, being Christian is being in relationship with God.
If there is any relationship that can bear the communication of anger it is our relationship with God that can. The Lord knows we need an outlet, and an outlet that doesn’t hurt others is a premium which God allows through our relationship with him.
What do we experience when we are raw with our honesty before God? When we communicate in tearful words we hear ourselves as God might hear us.
We may sound pathetic, but God has compassion in mind, because of the fact we are leaning on him. Paradoxically, our desperate plea reeks of faith. And faith pleases God.
Real Prayer Is Heartfelt
Perhaps the honour that is due us, that which we, ironically, cannot really feel at the time, is coming because our prayer is heartfelt.
For all the prayers we pray that aren’t heartfelt, we can know now, through comparison with our usual depleted authenticity, the power in God’s grace for this more heartfelt prayer. This power communicates itself to us by an indecipherable healing. Heartfelt prayers are healing prayers.
The Lord can only bless heartfelt prayer. And though we persist in going through the motions on those issues we would like to feel passionate about but aren’t, God would always prefer us to work on our passion first. If we feel led to pray, best we pray for the passion to pray in a heartfelt way.
No Condemnation, But Compassion
If we can see grace as a thing that has no condemnation about it, but is abounding with compassion, we can understand that God honours our heartfelt laments.
If we can hope beyond our present circumstances, to see God’s plan for us beyond the present contempt, we can imagine God is compassionate and non-condemnatory.
If we can dream to the point of possibility, beyond the shadowy ruins of our transient numbness, we embellish our hope and in this God does not disappoint.
There is no condemnation, and only compassion, from God to the heartfelt lamenter.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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