A recent trip to my dear friend Dr. Bill the optometrist revealed an interesting thing about my eyes. I don’t produce enough tears.

My tears should last for about 10 seconds longer per eye than they do - apparently I’m all dried up.

Perhaps I should see more tear-jerker movies?

In either case, this disorder seems to be the same as what I see in people in general – we live in a culture that expects us to dry up, suck it up, and move on when we experience loss or pain. Mostly because we are so insecure in our own ability to keep it together that we don’t want to see someone else lose it because we might do the same. Some people even "religiocize" it and say, "If you really trusted God, you wouldn't have trouble dealing with this anymore."

To be clear, that's ridiculous - trusting God doesn't make everything better, it simply says that everything is His (which ultimately brings healing).

However, there was a practice in the Bible that I think we need to recapture – lament.

Before I get too far, let me mention that I think people who follow Jesus aren’t nearly as joyful as they should be for folks who know they’ll never die. But I also think that the “pull-ourselves-up-by our-bootstraps” approach that we've been taught our whole lives has cut us off from what it means to truly...

Weep.

Mourn.

Be contrite.

Lament.

Lament the evil that happens every day. Mourn the loss of goodness and beauty on a daily basis. Weep over people who are a part of completely dysfunctional cycles of life and being.

Why?

Because when we lament, when we truly mourn, we have an opportunity to be reminded about the solution. The solution is that Jesus came, taught, and died to show the way through the valley of the shadow of death so that we don’t have to fear pain, evil, injustice, oppression and violence.

We lament to remember why lament will not last forever.

That day by day, as we are acting on the example of Jesus, we bring heaven to earth.

That one day, God’s Kingdom will come in completion and evil will get taken out behind the woodshed – forever.

Can you see what we lose if we don’t lament? If we don’t think about what is lost?

We forget what is gained.

The best way to lament is to spend time thinking on what has been lost in your life, and then move to what God can, will, or has already done to bring hope and life to you in the midst of it.

Try this exercise today - write down what you lament and where God is working. I believe you'll see something amazing.

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