There Will Be Singing


Sometimes you hear a song that speaks right into the moment you are experiencing. And sometimes you realize as you are listening to that song that the moment you are experiencing is one that you are not experiencing alone. 

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed these past few days.  It's to be expected, I  suppose since I'm coming back from a brief break to the busiest time of year in church-y world. 

Which has been made so much more complicated and challenging because of our current situation.  

I also find myself acutely grieving so many of the things that have been lost along the way during all of this.  It's been a hard week of grieving, in fact.  Both of my younger kids started school---but not at school, which made me sad beyond belief. 

Then I  saw a photo on my Facebook memories of a worship service we held at my church a year ago.  The sanctuary was packed that day, and you could feel the energy in the room even through the photo.  

It made my heart hurt in a surprising and painful way.  It was surprising to me because I  usually push those kinds of feelings aside, choosing to keep moving, keep looking ahead, but sometimes... things just need to be felt, I guess.  
 
As I was processing all of this and so much more, I  heard this song by singer/songwriter Cobi that spoke to me deeply--capturing my feelings perfectly:  

It's like I broke down in the middle of the road
On the way to all of my high hopes
Playing "Goodnight Irene" on the old stereo
Still drunk off a moment, still numb from the cold
I need some strength for the sorrow. 

Oh please lend a hand
I need some faith in tomorrow
Somebody help me sing
I need some strength for the sorrow
Oh please lend a hand
I need some faith in tomorrow
Somebody help me sing... 

Dear Readers, we are all going through something so incredibly difficult right now, and it's often hard to put words to it.  Which is why something like this song is so important for us to hear.  

As I was thinking about this, I remembered something I learned some time ago about the Psalms in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Basically 70 percent of the Psalms contain some kind of lament, and the majority of them are straight up "psalms of lament." 

That's a lot of lament... a lot of pain being expressed, sung, prayed, cried out...    Take Psalm 44 for instance: 

23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face
    and forget our misery and oppression?

25 We are brought down to the dust;
    our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us;
    rescue us because of your unfailing love.

I'm learning something in this season of perpetual crisis.  I'm learning just how hard it is for us to grieve properly the things that we have lost "in the fire."  I'm learning how easy it is to give in to the tyranny of the kind of popular Christian faith that refuses to lament. 

I'm learning that God is not angered or frightened by our cries for help... our lament.  God does not turn away from our pain.  Because God is in the midst of it, present in the brokenness and crying out with us.  

For those of us who long for faith in tomorrow... we need to know that there is Somebody who will help us sing a new song when we are ready.  And there will be such singing then... such singing.  

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