pondering laments

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash 

We celebrate your steadfast love.
We praise you for your mercy.
We count on your faithfulness.
   We celebrate and
      praise and
      count on.

And then the world does not work right.
   We find ourselves unsafe and anxious,
      caught up in greed and selfishness,
      beset by a culture of violence and threat.

We wonder about the mismatch
      between you and your creation.

Mostly we trust,
      down deep we sometimes do not.
We risk truth-telling
      about your absence and silence and withdrawal.

We do such truth-telling,
      telling it to you,
   you . . . absent, silent, withdrawn.
   You we address, you, our only hope
      in this world and in the world to come.

Walter Brueggemann, 1933 -,  American Protestant Old Testament theologian


How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

2 thoughts on “pondering laments

  1. I like the raw honesty in this poem. It’s also good to see something else written by this OT scholar. His work on the Psalms and some other OT commentaries are exceptional. I also wonder about the picture. What is being conveyed by the bright yellow? Is it fire?


  2. I’m not completely sure about the picture myself. The glow of the city has positive elements, but also speaks to anxiety and greed. I think I am craving a bit more solitude.


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