My heart is broken. We are all lost. We are all grieving. Our nation weeps. How do we survive these dark times?
Lament is another name for deep grief. Cultures that lament together heal together. As a culture, we have a lot of things we need to lament together to heal our nation, children being gunned down, loss of our national unity, our failure to end racism, the slaughter of innocents in the Ukraine, I could go on for hours.
What would it be like to lament that together? Might that be a starting place for the healing of our nation?
Here are some prayers, and poems to help us help us Lament together:
Hymn For The Hurting by Amanda Gorman
Our hearts shadowed and strange,
Minds made muddied and mute.
We carry tragedy, terrifying and true.
And yet none of it is new;
We knew it as home,
Even our children
Cannot be children,
It’s a hard time to be alive,
And even harder to stay that way.
We’re burdened to live out these days,
While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.
This alarm is how we know
We must be altered —
That we must differ or die,
That we must triumph or try.
Thus while hate cannot be terminated,
It can be transformed
Into a love that lets us live.
May we not just grieve, but give:
May we not just ache, but act;
May our signed right to bear arms
Never blind our sight from shared harm;
May we choose our children over chaos.
May another innocent never be lost.
Maybe everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed & strange.
But only when everything hurts
May everything change.
With broken hearts, we stand with the mothers and fathers and all the loved ones grieving the children and teachers whose lives were brutally taken at school in Uvalde, Texas. We stand with the community of Uvalde, who must bear this tragic burden and loss. We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. And we pray because we believe there is another way for us to live, a way rooted in love, in faith, in nonviolence, and a way that holds all human life sacred and holds all communities beloved.
Even as we offer solidarity through lament and prayer, we refuse to accept a world in which thoughts and prayers are offered without meaningful policy changes to address the crisis of gun violence in this country. While we grieve alongside the families and community in Uvalde and those still grieving in Buffalo, we renew our call on state legislatures and Congress to enact more comprehensive laws limiting access to deadly weapons.
Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americans
A BLESSING FOR COLLECTIVE GRIEF (WHEN THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE NOT ENOUGH) by Kate Bowler
We are brought to our knees.
God, today, there is no true north.
And when I last checked,
the sun did not rise at all.
Today, the innocent still suffer,
teachers still risk their lives,
families still grieve.
A world has ended without
any reasonable fanfare.
And we are sold the fantasy that nothing can be done.
Help us to know what to feel – rage, grief, sorrow.
And what to do – advocate, protest, lament.
Blessed are we who let reality in,
though our bodies shudder.
Blessed are we who ask and wait, and ask again
for the courage to change our culture
whose laws and complicity subsidize death.
God, give us hope that seems hard to find.
That’s all I have. I have no words of my own. But if you have words for your grief, please share them here.
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- Candles Photo by Irina Anastasiu on Pexels.com