We threw a party yesterday, a “come one, come all” type of affair in honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr. For a holiday that isn’t particularly known for it’s parties, ours was, if I do say so myself, a bit of a success. Not just in the way where there was lots of laughter and plenty of food, but in the way where it brought together all the diverse and oh-so-different communities to which my girlfriend and I are honored to belong, and laid a tentative foundation for some sort of bridge between them. One of the highlights of these bridging moments took place while I was standing with my arm around my girlfriend in a circle of our friends, and a friend I hadn’t seen since I began the coming out process leaned forward and said contemplatively: “It seems so no natural, almost like you’ve always been a lesbian…” Indeed it does.

And so today, in the wake of all the festivities, it may seem a bit odd that I have spent the day reading about the Psalms of lament… the largely forgotten Psalms, if you will. These are the Psalms that are full of rage and confusion, anger and questioning. Despair. Senseless suffering. Tears. The authors of this book that I have been reading for one of my classes suggest that the church’s abandonment of the use of these Psalms of lament is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. Because it is only through the voicing of our pain, and through being able to do so within the context of a community, that new life pours forth from our tragedies, both personal and communal.

And it is only in retrospect, as I was reading all of this tonight that I began to notice how much some of my writing here on this blog has resembled the Psalms of lament… right down to the seemingly unconnected thread of hope that so often appears at the end of a long trail of angry-tearful-questioning. In a way, these words have been my lament psalms. My uncertainty. My anger. My questions, directed at a God that I have always been told to praise but not to question. My story and my pain, received into the arms of a community that built up around these stories; that poured into my life, breathing new life in the wake of loss.

And so, as certain as I am that even now, I am not yet done lamenting… may, in fact, never be done lamenting, I am also certain that I am not yet done praising… and that the two will continue to be inexplicable linked together; inseparable parts of my own participation in the mystery that is our faith and our God.

Advertisements