This COVID-19 Devotional Stephenie Carr speaks on seeing the pain in others during this time. What do you do when you see the pain of others and you don’t know how or if there is anything you can do to help?
Hi, I’m Stephenie Carr from Royal Servants.
In one of our first online devos a few weeks back, Matt Swanson talked about the importance of lament when we encounter these seasons of frustration, loss, and grief. I wanted to give a Lament: part 2 of sorts today.
If you are like me right now, praying for the world regularly feels like a tall task – but now even more so.
One of the things that is becoming more and more clear as our time of quarantine continues is that everything seems amplified – it seems “more” of what it felt like in a normal time.
Parents – thrust into that role 24-7 (same with siblings)
Single or living alone – feeling that isolation more
At-risk health wise – feeling even more vulnerable to infection
Those on the margins of society – homeless populations, those living at or near poverty levels – these are even more stressful circumstances.
So many of our circumstances are amplified! This is true across the globe. This truly is a “we” problem. There is hardly a corner of the globe that isn’t being touched in some way by this global pandemic.
It is precisely for those who are experiencing increased need and insecurity right now that I want to encourage us to lament for.
And this is also a Biblical model of lament. Often times in the Bible we find the phrase, “A lament concerning…fill in the blank” (Princes of Israel, Saul, Tyre, etc.)
Which means that when we are feeling helpless and overwhelmed when faced with a global pandemic that we know is affecting not just us, but others more vulnerable than us, and we find ourselves grieving – feeling there is so little we can actually do to change that on a global scale, we can go to God in lament.
It is in lament that we address our great big God – big enough to hold this. And we put our trust in the God who sees even the very sparrow. Our lament assumes God is present and God can help. At the same time our lament does not hold back from our questions, our protest, our fear, and our acknowledgment that things are not the way they are supposed to be.
When we cannot act, we can plead for God to act – on behalf of the innocent, the victim, the sufferer.
Three movements of a lament:
Address God – assumes that He is present and He hears
Give voice to your lament – things are not the way they are supposed to be
The “and yet” turn – how can you, even still, trust God that He’s got this
For more, try the following practice:
Read the Lament of Psalm 79
Do you see the three parts of the lament (address to God, voice of pain or frustration, the “and yet” turn)?
Who do you feel burdened for right now?
Write out your lament to God on behalf of that person or people.
Originally Published May 3, 2020