The Song of Lament

Okay, so I’m aware that the word “lament” is a buzz-kill. Nobody wants to listen to complaints. We all know someone who seems to be walking around all day, every day, under a smog cloud of misery. I want to be cheerful and encouraging. Sometimes, I don’t genuinely feel that way. Sometimes, I need to complain to my Father. Things aren’t going well, and I need to sit with Him and tell Him about it.
Over and over again, I’m drawn to John 15, where Jesus talks about us being pruned so that we can bear fruit. I’m also reminded of the need to “abide” in Him, spending time each day just to listen to what He has to say to me. Then I need to do something about it. My relationship with Him is based on honesty. He’s always honest with me, I tend to hedge the truth to make myself look like a good Christian. Part of growing in my friendship with Him is admitting that I just don’t get it. Why are things not going well? Why are my friends going through hellish times? There’s a longing to see more of heaven breaking through in our lives.
With that in mind, my wife, Linda and I decided that it was time to write a song that dealt with the feeling of sadness and confusion that comes when we don’t see God’s kingdom break through, in the way that we hope for. When words aren’t enough to express what is going on deep inside. This was 2 years ago. We wrote a song called Cry Out Loud, and then let it sit there, not being sung, because it just seemed too dark for the worship settings where I usually lead.
Well, last night, out of the blue, Linda tells me that she thinks it’s time to bring the song out. She sensed that people needed a way to express their pain to God together. So, I taught it to the band today and we did it. I think it was the right thing to do. People seemed to be relieved and free to let loose emotionally. It did the same thing for me. Here are the lyrics. We’ll be recording the song on our next record.
Don’t be afraid to lament. It’s a way of reaching out to God. He reaches back with grace and mercy.


If You are speaking
Then why can’t I hear You?
Is there some reason
I don’t see
I still believe, but lacking
Hope and comfort
It weighs my chest down
When I breathe

But I’ll stay, I’ll stay
And cry out loud because
The words won’t come
Whom have I in heaven
And earth but you?

My strength is draining
And my soul is desperate
My eyes are tired
From the strain
Watching and waiting
For my only refuge
One word from You
Would stop the pain

I’ve heard strength comes from waiting,
And living in the truth
A soft heart anticipating
The morning’s hope is new

But there’s no mistaking,
My confidence is shaken
Until I hear from You
I’ll cry out loud
Because the words won’t come
Cry Out Loud- Dave and Linda Foster, (C)2010

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