Lament: Taking Space to Grieve

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Lament is the sacred speech that names the deep heart ache and pain experienced on a personal, familial, communal, local, state, federal, and global level. Lament expresses our concrete yet mysterious grief.

Cherly Kirk-Duggan

In light of recent events in Uvalde Texas, we at The Expectations Project want to offer a word on grief. As we hear from our advocates, partners, community members, and friends, it’s clear to us that we are all grieving. We are grieving the loss of precious lives, grieving the loss of a sense of safety and security in our communities (at school, at grocery stores, in the city streets), and grieving as we are forced, time and time again, to come to terms with the world as we know it and grapple with what it will take to change it for the better. With these things in mind and heart, we are taking time this month to engage in a practice of lament.

Lament is a spiritual practice that gives us space to grieve and come to know the depths of the devastation we’ve experienced so we can begin to turn together toward a more abundant and thriving life for all of creation.

Lament, simply put, is the practice of expressing grief. As a spiritual practice, lament is prophetic and has the power to harness the energy of love at the point of loss and launch it in the direction of life even at the site of death. For many generations, people of various faith traditions have employed this sacred practice in moments of profound and unimaginable grief and found through it resources needed to keep on keeping on – to not only survive in the wake of despair but to courageously insist upon a better tomorrow for future generations. And so can we.

Over the next few weeks, we invite you to join us in a practice of lament. Together, we will take space to grieve, ask some tough questions, and continue in the stuff of life in the aftermath of tragedy. As we rightly rage against systems that make possible the mass murder of children, as we do the hard work of demanding better together for all God’s children, may we do so with the spaciousness lament brings, with the wisdom that comes through grief observed, and with the power of the persistence of life that only the passing of time affords.

Will you commit to taking space to grieve this month?

June 21, 2022
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Cami King
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