I am amazed by the parallels and applications to our current crisis in this encounter of Jesus with ten men who had leprosy. The "disease" of our world feels overwhelming. Many in unhappy circumstances have shared their stories lately. Like Jesus, I am moved pity.
My world seems upside down. I am sad and pierced. What do I do with this? First I stand still in sadness, lament and engage in life-giving activities. Then, lest I am tempted to get stuck here, I am challenged to persevere through my weariness. Next, I turn back to Psalm 77 for more instruction.
“I think I’m depressed,” I told my husband. “I have no motivation to do my work. I only want to do macrame all day. What’s wrong with me? Is it hormones, aging, or this pandemic?” Along with much of the world, I was, at that moment, weary and losing heart.
In my typical fashion, I dug in immediately, reading articles, finding new voices, listening to podcasts and posting to my social media. At the end of the week, my screen time was up 104%! I vacillated between wanting to throw up my hands in hopelessness (What can I do?) to jumping into premature action (What can I do?)
“We have rejoiced with you? Will you suffer with us?” pleaded prominent black therapist Dr. Anita Phillips in a recent conversation with white author and activist, Christine Caine. She was applying a familiar verse in a deeply personal appeal: If one part [of the body] suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV
I'm on another crafting binge. The last time I made so many projects in one stretch was after my dad passed away. When I finally came up for air, I asked myself, "What was that?" I now realize it was my response to grief.
"Lament is a raw, unfiltered cry to God based on trust in his character and with hope for his resolution." It asks, "Why Lord, and how long?"
Feelings of sadness have flooded my soul and the social media of my friends and family. We are sad, both individually and collectively. And we have every right to be.