Unless you’ve managed to complete tune out of what’s going on in the world today, you are probably experiencing some level of stress right now. To many of us, it feels like the world’s violence, injustice, brokenness, and division has been on full display lately and it’s honestly scary. Just for starters, the world is very close to 1 million deaths due to the COVID-19 virus, and the United States has more than 20% of those deaths, surpassing 200,000 deaths. Meanwhile, it seems like more and more people are pretending the pandemic is over. While this is going on, there are still individual immigrants and families of immigrants languishing in detention centers all across the country who are being subjected to inhumane conditions, as well as abuse. A Black woman named Dawn Wooten came forward as a whistle-blower to expose the illegal and unethical practices that were taking place in the Georgia detention center where she was working as a nurse. She claims female detainees were being given hysterectomies against their wills. Perhaps we need to be reminded that forced sterilization is a hallmark of genocide. And if these causes of grief weren’t enough, this past week a grand jury in the state of Kentucky decided not to charge three police officers with the murder of Breonna Taylor, a young Black woman who was killed during the execution of a no-knock warrant of her home even though she was not a suspect and had committed no crimes.
As we’ve done many times in the past few years, we bring our lament before God. Lament is a cry from the heart toward God that reminds us that we are in desperate need of God. It’s also an outlet for our anguish and sorrow. We cast our cares upon God because God cares for us. And lament also joins us together in solidarity with those who suffer. Many who are suffering now are our sisters and brothers in Christ. And when one part of the body hurts, we all hurt. But it also joins us with our neighbors, as Jesus taught us in the Samaritan parable. We aren’t to just walk by. We are called to interceded on their behalf.