This is the first in a series on Lament that has been whirling through my head… More to come later.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, ‘I have prevailed’;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me. –Psalm 13 NRSV
Sometimes, I feel forgotten. It really doesn’t have to do with the people around me, or what folks do. I just get to thinking that forgotteness is the way that I’ve been living for a while. It’s not like there are not people around, or that anyone ignores me or anything. It’s just that I appear to be transparent to others.
I’ll be talking to someone who has just met me, and they will be able to simultaneously criticize my age, experience, knowledge, and perspective. And while they are at it, they will also say that my entire culture is irrelevant. It’s quite a feat, really.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about people within ten years of my age, and how hungry they are. Some of them are literally hungry. More of them my age and younger than anyone else in the world. People who are thirty years old and younger make up the majority of people who are hungry in the world. Nearly all five year olds who are deeply hungry will never make it to adulthood. They will never be as old as I am. And I am not yet old.
There are also others who are hungry. But there is a different hunger deep in their core. They are hungry for something that is very difficult to explain. They are hungry for relationship. They are hungry for answers, and better questions. They are hungry for rest, and energy, and hope, and promise.
Their hunger is the one that I have a calling to. It is one that moves me to tears. Sometimes I feel that I will never be able to find answers, or better questions. I have some of the same hungers, desires, yearnings. Because if I feel forgotten sometimes, then I mourn over how others might also feel forgotten. Not just for a season, but for a lifetime.
I desire to grant hope to those who are hungry. I really really want to be able to find a way to sate that hunger. I want to build relationships with those who are hungry, and help them find other relationships that mean so much more than my own with them. There is hope.