Tag Archives: hope

Chapter 4 Lamentations, a lament, our seventh ( 7th ) study thought

2 Nov

“Lamentations” is the Lord’s songbook. Here, he cries over his creation, This cry is an echo of his talk with Adam and Eve after their fall; a mirror of his dialogue with Cain about sin’s couching at Cain’s heart door, before Abel’s death. It is the Lord God’s voice of weeping over his broken creation,

‘How the gold has lost its luster,
the fine gold become dull!
The sacred gems are scattered
at every street corner.’ (1) God speaks of me, losing. I lose his gold, my trust in his heart loving me. As a Lear, a Gloucester, a father who loses the loving presence of his children, so he longs for me in my lament to surround him, love him. Speak to him. I am dry. Without a sound.

Isaiah, 100 years before Jeremiah, describes the jewelled woman or man as one who sees, eyes, give voice and heart as their children are seen,

‘Lift up round about thine eyes and see, All of them have been gathered, They have come to thee. I live, an affirmation of Jehovah! Surely all of them as an ornament thou puttest on, And thou bindest them on like a bride.’ Isaiah 49: 18. Here, life is jewelled by children. But in one life span, the prophecy is inverted, as God speaks his parent’s heart through Jeremiah, lament,

2 How the precious children of Zion,
once worth their weight in gold,
are now considered as pots of clay,
the work of a potter’s hands!

3 Even jackals offer their breasts
to nurse their young,
but my people have become heartless
like ostriches in the desert.

4 Because of thirst the infant’s tongue
sticks to the roof of its mouth;
the children beg for bread,
but no one gives it to them.

5 Those who once ate delicacies
are destitute in the streets.
Those brought up in royal purple
now lie on ash heaps.

6 The punishment of my people
is greater than that of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment
without a hand turned to help her.

7 Their princes were brighter than snow
and whiter than milk,
their bodies more ruddy than rubies,
their appearance like lapis lazuli.

….10 With their own hands compassionate women
have cooked their own children,
who became their food
when my people were destroyed.

God loves his people so. He loves me. Yet, yet, “compassionate women have cooked their own children, who have become their food…

cooked their own children,
who became their food”…”

parents eat their life jewels, children. Destroyed before the eating, the adults still eat. And…

here, at this lament apogee, the Lord stops his cry. Jeremiah the prophet speaks his own summary reflection,

11 ‘The Lord has given full vent to his wrath;
he has poured out his fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion
that consumed her foundations.’

This is the Lord’s full lament: his wrath. How does he rage? He leaves his creation to itself.

And my lament, – I, I, ache for the loss of Eden, of love, of children. Without his presence, all is without lustre; without hope. Broken. Even life itself.

All is lament.

lament, 1

30 Sep

A dictionary defines lament as both a noun and a verb,

  1. The definition of lament is an expression of loss, sometimes through artistic expression.An example of a lament is The Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament of the Bible.


  1. Lament is defined as to feel loss, sorrow or regret, often expressed in a physical way.An example of lament is to feel sad and cry at a funeral.
  2. An example of lament is to wish you would have done something different with your life.

Another definition speaks of the artistic expression that a ‘lament’ creates from loss, grief or suffering. In the crime/murder novel ‘The Redbreast’, Jo Nesbo, the last sentence of chapter eight, at the book’s first part end reads: ‘He was still staring towards the booth when the relentless lament of the Volvo car horn behind sawed the day in two.’

The author chooses a key place to insert a lament, at the very end of the novel’s first section, subtitled ‘Earth to Earth.’ Harry Hole was, a Scandinavian policeman, has fired his weapon at another policeman erroneously thinking that person was as an assassin. His partner was to sound their car’s horn if she could identify as a policeman so he would not shoot. The external sound comes too late, and thus becomes Harry Hope’s lament, an internal cry that saws his soul in two.

Artistically, the author wants us to experience the character’s internal and the external despair at the same eternal moment. This grief comes at the book’s opening and will be the identifying trope of the character: a never ending grief; a despair; an internal world beyond any hope. The car’s sound can be heard, Harry’s cry cannot. It can only be represented by a screech.

The lament’s use here is a signpost to the essential and radical nature of lament: it is a cry that does not and will not end. It is overflow of deep sorrows that will continue through life and into death. Overflow in this context does not mean ‘waste’ but riches that flows out again and again to be of use, of never ceasing expression. Nesbo’s use of lament seeks to flow Harry’s unspoken cries, his self-silencing, into us, his readers, his feelers.

Laments overflow by their design, their. They are cries, sometimes with words, at times with groaning, or silences but they always flowing.

Laments are everlasting. Ever lasting.