Click the title of this post to be redirect to the blog of Jordan McCall for which I am making this post. Jordan, a young wife and mother of two, is battling cancer. As she battles cancer, she also sits in a Sunday-School class studying the book “Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen. She sits and listens to Christians speaking about how God wants them to have a “blessed life” (materially abundant life without struggle) while she prays that God will just heal her body and allow her to see her children grow up.
I must admit that I have not read the above mentioned book. I have read enough reputable reviews to know I don’t want to waste my time or money on the book. I am not sure how Churches and Christians can read their Bibles and yet believe and promote a “health and wealth” gospel. I never believed such a gospel before the death of my son. After the death of Kenny, the health and wealth theology became outright insulting. What is more troubling is the fact that contemporary trends in Christian rarely encourage and foster an environment for open grief and lament before God (try finding a song of lament in any church hymnal).
In the collection of Psalms, we read, “I cry aloud to the Lord, I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble” (Ps 143.1-2, TNIV). This is just one of many laments found in the Psalms and throughout scripture. If we are going to be a Christian community shaped by the words of scripture, then we must recognize the place of lament in our communal life. Just as we express our praises throughout worship, people who suffer must be allowed to express their faith – a faith of pain and lament – to God as well. Then we become a community for both the happy and sad, the blessed and afflicted.