Throughout this week that we call Holy, I've invited a few friends who have companioned in suffering with Christ and His people to share a bit of their stories with us. I'm grateful to today's guest - a friend from our beloved church family (and writing group) in Austin - for sharing from her experience of a relentless lent. I'm also grateful to Rachel for her skill in expressing the inexpressable in a way that welcomes us into her grief, and thereby, our own. This is no small gift, and I pray that God will raise up a canopy of protection over Rachel's family, as she and Jonathan continue to wait for resurrection. I pray this for all of us in the various forms of suffering we encounter waiting for the help of a risen Christ. Would you read with me, and listen with an open heart for any words Christ might be speaking to you through Rachel's story?
Retrieving the lament of that which is almost unbearable to name
The past five years I have lived in Lent. The church calendar has ticked by but I have stayed here in the barren place, the dark place where hope is for others and resurrection is a belief but not tangible. It’s one of those long stories, too long certainly for this space, with long emotions and long components, but familiar too – grief, hurt, expectations not met, illness, grief, uncertainty, abuse, adoption, mental illness, destruction. Many families enter into these lands, and many families fall apart. We did. Some families are able to weather the storm. We couldn’t.
Last year I had four children, this year I have three. Or maybe I still have four. I don’t know how to answer that question. Last year my daughter knew nothing of violence or crime or the physical power that men can yield over women. This year, at eight years of age, she is a sexual assault statistic. I will never be over that, never.
Five years ago when I heard the word “rad,” I thought of 1980’s slang. Now I think of attachment disorders and all the hell they entail.
I am a writer, a poet of sorts I suppose, and my offerings are often written on the page. These are a few of the laments I retrieved over the past few years.
I had a son
Before and After
Real Live Monsters
Support for South Sudan
Rachel grew up and still lives in Austin, TX, where she enjoys writing, her family, and searching for the perfect margarita
(You can read all of the Retrieve Lament stories from previous years here.)