and a warrant for the status quo.”
Walter Brueggemann – The Costly Loss of Lament
I received this song [Download] as gift from Zach Hamilton, a faithful participant in the Street Psalms training series offered by Center for Transforming Mission. Zach lives and works in White Center, WA. He is a gifted youthworker and musician. He is also a street poet and a great example of a “grassroots theologian. “ Zach and his friends (along with Keilah Fanene who accompanies Zach on this piece) have been wrestling with what it means to teach and preach Good News in hard places, recognizing that a vital part of Good News includes the space and grace to give voice to pain.
Kathleen O’Connor said, “The first condition of healing is to give voice to pain.” The ancient Hebrews understood this and apparently so did God when he made room in Scripture for the practice of lament. Laments are the “blue notes” of Scripture that give voice pain. Laments also give structure to pain. This is no easy task, especially because pain resists structure and is always unraveling us. Abraham Heschel described the prophetic voice that communicates such pain as an “octave too high.” It is a voice that is hard to hear and, more often than not, is systematically denied or muted by the dominant culture.