Last summer, an orca named Talequah gave birth. Talequah’s pod of killer whales was endangered, and her newborn was their hope for the future. But the calf lived for less than an hour. In a show of grief that was watched by people around the world, Talequah pushed her dead calf through the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean for seventeen days before letting her go.
Sometimes believers in Jesus have a hard time knowing what to do with grief. Perhaps we fear that our sorrow might look like a lack of hope. But the Bible gives us many examples of humans crying out to God in grief. Lament and hope can both be part of a faithful response.
Lamentations is a book of five poems that express the sorrow of people who have lost their home. They’ve been hunted by enemies and were near death (3:52–54), and they weep and call on God to bring justice (v. 64). They cry out to God not because they have lost hope, but because they believe God is listening. And when they call, God does come near (v. 57).
It’s not wrong to lament the broken things in our world or in your life. God is always listening, and you can be sure that God will look down from heaven and see you.
To learn more about what Lamentations says about pain, visit christianuniversity.org/OT221.
The book of Lamentations gives us a poet’s picture of the aftermath of war. Jerusalem had been invaded by Babylonian warlords in 586
The fluid emotions of the poet reflect a nation that now had nowhere to turn but to memories of their past and to hope in the everlasting God who, for this seemingly endless moment, seemed so far away (Lamentations 5:19–22).