A powerful way to embrace lament is by engaging in corporate or communal sorrow. While we understand that grieving is often a very private road, if we do not feel like we are a part of a community that sees and invites us to share or articulate our grief as best we are able, our grief process won’t be private, it will be lonely and isolating. We will begin to feel alone and unwanted. We will feel like we don’t belong unless we “get over” or “get it together” so as not to disturb others with our genuine grief and sadness.
This is why lament is such a beautiful thing, because it includes a public and communal expression of grief. It invites us to “weep with those who weep”, (Rom. 12) without judging or bringing commentary on their particular sorrow. If we are truly one body, when someone in our community hurts, the most powerful thing we can do isn’t bringing them a meal, or a prayer (those things are important), it’s acknowledging and entering into their pain with them.
How do we practice this together today?
Here’s what we invite you to do: write in the comments of this post something you are sad about that you’ve been grieving in your heart. Maybe it’s something larger we are all facing together, or something in your family or personal to your heart.
We invite each one of us to share with vulnerability and specificity in a place of safety. The challenge in this as a community is how we respond to each person’s pain. Can we engage in corporate sorrow?
If something someone is sad over doesn’t resonate with you, or is from a different perspective than you, can you enter in? Can you empathize? Can we weep with them and walk in harmony with them regardless?
People don’t need our commentary, they need our compassion.
As people share things they are hurting over, your response shouldn’t be to encourage them, help them by advising solutions, or defensiveness that contradict them with reasons it’s wrong or misguided for them to be sad about that particular thing.
Our only response should be something like “I carry that sorrow too” or “I see you and make space for your sadness”. It may not be easy, but if we show up wholeheartedly, this exercise or practice of communal lament will knit our LW community together in powerful ways.