But perhaps I should stop fighting. A good friend, Rachael Clinton, practitioner and author at The Allender Center, reminded me in her beautiful post that lament is part of hope. We as embodied creatures feel the dissonance and the fragmentation of our communities viscerally; and we need practices in which we can move through grief. It may seem paradoxical for those of us who are warriors and social justice fighters to surrender to the sorrow and let the tears overflow from our eyes, but grief enlarges us like a woman in childbirth.
In Rachael's words, "Yesterday evening I drove to the spa (in my flannel pajamas and a puffy coat nonetheless because they were open until midnight and I was trying to be efficient) so I could pray and meditate, wrapped in heat, sweating out the toxic. I wanted to hear from God. I wanted to find courage and hope and strength. I've developed many a sermon at the spa, so it was not an unrealistic expectation.
But as I sat there, surrounded by women of many different ethnicities and ages, tending to their bodies, all I could do was weep. I felt that groaning of the Spirit who intercedes with language too deep for words when we do not know how to pray (Romans 8), like a woman in labor, birthing new life. The lament was holy, powerful, and paradoxically brought me to the rest and comfort I was actually seeking.
It's always humbling to be ushered into an embodied experience of something you talk about all the time...that lament is a part of hope."
And so today, though I believe more than ever in God’s Dream, I am going to surrender to the tremendous sorrow I feel in my own body for all the bodies. Black bodies. Brown bodies. Women’s bodies. Assaulted bodies. Hungry bodies. Dehumanized bodies. Denigrated bodies. We are all part of the human race, inextricably linked together as children of God, meant to live in harmony as one body.
If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. And if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share in its honor. [I Corinthians 12:26]
by Jessica Ketola