In the social media age we have the capability of being updated instantaneously. We have breaking news, real-time scores, and emergency alerts literally in the palms of our hands. But what we have gained in speed we have lost in nuance. Tragedies can be reduced to headlines. People can be reduced to hashtags. The digital climate has a tendency to generalize and polarize -- and that can create false dichotomies.
Choose: #backtheblue or #blacklivesmatter.
Job's friends did this. The Pharisees did this. They tried to trap Jesus and force him into a box. He would have none of it. His followers don't have to either.
The Bible has an incredible tradition of lament for times of tragedy and confusion. Brutally honest. Aggressively confrontational. Helpless yet hopeful prayers and songs. Scripture has room for these mixed emotions, paradoxes, and questions. Not only do these laments give us permission to approach God in an unpolished, raw manner but also rightly keeps God on His throne. As Evelyn Underhill once wrote, "If God were small enough to be understood, He wouldn't be big enough to be worshipped..."
There will be more bombs in airports. There will be more gunshots in the streets. We should make time to mourn -- to weep with those who weep. And then to implore God to act. Beg Him to return. We should lament well. He can handle it.
"How long O Lord..." Psalm 13:1
Bubby Bryan, DOC