Dearest Hope Family,
The line from the article that grabbed my attention and pulled at my heart strings was as simple as it was troubling: “We are used to being let down.” A UNC first year student summed up her experience of moving all of her belongings back down the six flights of stairs in her dorm to her parents’ car waiting to take her back home after a mere 2 weeks of college.
Her assessment rings true for so many of us. It is the lens through which many of us have experienced and are experiencing life in the pandemic. Whether it is postponed plans or dashed dreams, whether it is hard news of health challenges or yet another unkept promise, whether it is virtual learning systems that don’t work or relationships that fade and drift, whether it is selfishness in our workplaces or political rancor, we are used to being let down. Accustomed to brokenness. Making peace with not-the-way-it’s-supposed-to-
Cynicism and bitterness lurk around the doorstep of our hearts – designing to take the brokenness and being-let-down-ness we all experience and translate them into despair.
Do believers in Jesus have any tools in our arsenal to combat the spirit of the age? Are we left only to talk about “heaven” and put a brave face on the cynicism around and in us?
We have at the very least (in reality far more) two powerful weapons at our disposal: the body of Christ and the language of lament.
- Cynicism seeks to divide and isolate. Becoming accustomed to brokenness thrives in isolation. All the more reason to join with God’s people. I urge you to take advantage of the many outlets for connection and commiseration at Hope: Morning Worship, Vespers in the evening, Life Groups, small group Bible studies for all ages and stages, prayer groups on Wednesdays and Mondays. Do whatever you have to do to crawl out of the isolation and into community to bring the cynicism into the light of relationship – where it can be exposed and healed.
- Cynicism gives only one explanation and assessment of the brokenness of the world: life is hard. Get used to it. Survive by shutting down your heart. The good news of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom gives us another pathway: lament. Cry out to God. Entrust your hurt to him. Ask, “How Long, O Lord”. Bring your broken and turbulent heart to God in prayer. Get the bitterness out in honest expression to the God who welcomes and hears our lament. This coming Thursday evening at 7:30pm, we will have another time set aside for corporate and private lament, for crying out to God in prayer, and for entrusting our “being let down” to Him. I urge you to make room for this crucial Christian practice.
Let’s gather with God’s people. Let’s lament together as God’s people. Let’s take a stand against the undertow of cynicism by pinning our hopes on the God who will never let us down! Every one of his promises finds a resounding, “Amen!” in the finished work of Jesus.
Peace of the Risen Savior,