Lack. (Christmas Lament -when grieving lost love at Christmas)
The lights of Christmas shine brightly - a glaring reflection of “not enough”
An exiled feeling - lonely and forgotten - a mournful soul
Arms extended, hands reach - grasping for something that seems so lost
Everywhere I look inside and outside - a storm of lack.
My breath remains tight as I consider the needs that are so great within me.
I recall a shepherd that has given so much that I have really no other need.
Yet, my mind and heart are drawn into the longing - a deep longing for more.
An ache for what I can’t seem to grasp or hold or make my reality
My heart seeks and in the quiet of a still moment, that longing is revealed
Rushing and fighting, filled with distraction
Confusion and deception grips my soul
A resist of darkness and pulling away from pain
In that stillness, though, I see it
Oh sweet and great longing - that longing isn’t for all that I lack
That longing within is a reminder of all that I have been given
In my own resistance - i move away from the fullness of hope.
The longing within - that ache deep inside - Oh for my Savior Christ
All that I truly need and long for is found in the tender shepherd
O soul of advent-waiting and anticipating
A light is dawning - a merciful awakening
In the midst of great lack, Fullness of love come down
Brilliant grace pierces the darkness
A path created to peace - lonely hearts rejoice
Hope is here
The cries of all we have lost, they rise deep within. A wail of sorrow of what we have lost and we cannot seem to find again. Those who mourn lament the lack they feel this Christmas.
What have you lost that cannot seem to be found or replaced? What causes your heart and world to see so full of lack - so without?
Perhaps there is no other season that shines a light on all that we may lack. I heard it said that Christmas brings a burdened hope. For those that awaited the Messiah, He simply did not come in the way they expected or hoped. And, for us, in our own situations - He doesn’t seem to always come in the desired way.
The grief of losing my parents, of course has never gone away. It fades, it fluctuates - but it’s still there nonetheless. The holiday season makes it more tangible than any other season. There is a longing deep within to touch, to see, to hold.
My mom lost both of her parents at a young age, and I remember the angst within her. I just didn’t understand the Christmas moments when my mom would have silent tears in her eyes, a short temper, and a hiding away at times. As a child and even as a teen, I could not fully grasp the depth of her grief at this holiday season.
Unfortunately, I now am familiar with the tension that lives within the heart of one who has lost much love.
Many grieve this Christmas. Waiting and hoping for the tender coming of Jesus to heal and restore their heart or situation.
It’s in the lamenting cries of your need that hope is found. It’s in the mournful wail of the loss we feel that Jesus graciously reminds us that He came and He became enough.
We all have missing pieces. Like me, you know pain and loss. Those people who are supposed to be there and are simply not. The relationships forever severed for one reason or another. The brokenness of this world interrupting our world in the most despairingly unwelcome way.
We can shut down Christmas and pretend it’s not happening. We can throw ourselves into the busyness of the season, plan lots of parties, buy lots of gifts, and turn the music up real loud. Yet, we are simply avoiding the pain that calls out lack in our lives.
We do not like the lack. It causes pain, confusion, uncertainty even. Navigating the world and our hearts with these missing pieces - it hurts but it is necessary.
We cannot avoid the losses that occur, the pain that takes our breath away. Christmas forces me to stare it in the face and I’m overwhelmed by all of the thoughts and feelings I have.
I can say nice words and cliche statements that will help me or you feel better in a moment. And, yet, how will that change us and draw us into a deeper place of dependence on Jesus?
I can give whatever words to my avoidance, but it doesn’t change that it is just that - avoidance. Pain is a part of this broken world as is loss. Pain and loss avoided, though, will produce a deeply broken soul and spirit. So, call out the loss - name the pain. Sit in it for a bit. Recognize the depths of its complexity and harm. And, wait. As Jesus gently comes in, His light will pierce through the darkness and there will be relief.
Yes, there is purpose to deeply experiencing the pain. Despite our desire to hide, avoid, run - there is freedom in just wrestling with the pain. Lament. Cry out and grieve. Why? Because He weeps with us. In our belief, in our unbelief - in our pain - He weeps alongside.
When I fight and push against Him, He never lets go. I can kick and wrestle with His purposes, but the compassion of His character holds me steadfast. I rage against the unfairness of the world, of sadness that fills every crevice, but in the quiet of the night - I collapse into His tenderness and care.
It’s in our understanding that just like His love came down into darkness and shone a great light so long ago, His love and light comes into our darkness over and over again.
Even in the darkness, His goodness still exists. It exists as He gathers us in His arms and He simply sits with us in our pain. He won’t push and pull and insist. He will gently and tenderly be present. This is advent.
A day will dawn in the distant or not so distant future when the sun shines again and our hearts don’t feel so weary. He will pick us up as we move on. But in the meantime, go ahead with the Savior’s hand in yours - weep.
Give yourself permission this Christmas to lament, to grieve deeply those places and spaces of lack. You will find our great Emmanuel there - present. He will tenderly speak hope and promise again.
You see that deep longing we feel within us is not because of the lack of relationships, finances, or things, it is because of our need for a Savior. And the more we try to fill the spaces - the more we will feel dissatisfied. But the more we are willing to deal with that lack and allow his tender kindness to lead us to a place of refocus and surrender - the more we will see that our greatest and most deep longings are for Him and filled by HIm.
Christmas is a beautiful season of longing and hope as a weary world waits to rejoice that a Savior has come to fill their mournful souls with love and light. Waiting is necessary. Lamenting is essential. Repentance that leads to surrender is required. Yet all of this moves us into a heart that celebrates that he is with us and rejoices every time Jesus brings light into those dark places.