I was only 20 when my Mum died. I was in the middle of University away from home, and felt helpless. For months, years, I had been praying for her to get better, but one night in desperation I prayed for God’s will to be done and not mine, and that was the night she died. I felt a huge sense of guilt and anger, anger that I was responsible for her death. It wasn’t until I discovered the power of laments that I was able to come to terms with that anger.
To help you to understand how laments are structured and to see how someone has used the lamenting psalm template, I wanted to share my lament with you. It rhymes (which they really don’t need to), and it’s not very good, but it is very real to me, and that’s all a lament should be.
O Lord, constant companion,
Who through the hearts and hands of others
has tended and cared for me,
why did you allow me to believe
that I had cast my mother free?
All those nights I prayed
that she would be healed and come back soon,
but that one night I prayed for her peace
is the night she slipped away to you.
That guilt I carried I cannot explain,
the belief I was to blame!
My prayer had killed my mother,
I was burdened with that shame.
But in that pain I felt you near
and I understood what matters,
that prayers are not so simple
and neither are their answers.
I made you too small,
I diminished your true glory,
and in that I nearly missed
the final chapter of her story.
Your love saved her from her suffering,
as her love saved me from mine.
And now I truly see
what it means to be divine.
Thank you Lord for the maturing of my heart,
now I am thankful for our time together
not the time we are apart.
I have a richer understanding
of what it meant to lose my Mum.
It was not my childish desires
but your greater will be done
Christoph Auckland is the Senior Outreach Officer for the Diocese of Llandaff