This message was written and delivered by Rev. Sonya Brown
Has there ever been a story that someone told you about their life? That it was so interesting and you were so intrigued, you could literally imagine being there? I remember when I was little and my dad would tell me stories of when he was younger. We would be driving on the Navajo Reservation, listening to country music, like Johnny Cash. One story that comes to mind is when my dad would run away from boarding school at Fort Defiance, Arizona and walk back home when he was 7 or 8 years old. This was about a 30 mile walk and would take him about two days, where he would spend a night in the woods. The next day, when he finally reached home, someone from the boarding school would be waiting for him and take him back to school.
I was so intrigued by his story that I asked him to take me where he used to walk and spend a night. It was crazy to imagine that when he told me the story, I was about the same age he was when he did that. We didn’t walk the whole trail, but we walked about 10 miles through the woods, up a small mountain, and back down into the canyon where he grew up. Being around 7 or 8 years old, I couldn’t imagine walking that far and spending a night in the woods by myself. Can you imagine a little kid about 7 or 8 years old walking 30 miles to make it home?!
When you are intrigued by a story, sometimes, you want to see things for yourself.
We are intrigued by stories, that we do things, like eat different foods, travel, pay for experiences… The list goes on and on. It also occurs with people of faith who have been intrigued by Jesus’ story that they’ll invest their time and money to visit the Holy Land just to see what they have read in Scripture come to life and to walk the steps of Jesus.
As we read Scripture, we are brought into the Story of God, we see the life of the people and how God’s redeeming love works. We also read the hardships the people of Israel endured. In the book of Lamentations, we hear a communal voice of lament from the people. The voices of Lamentations come from the multiple speakers and their testimony provide various perspectives from a particular context where one viewpoint does not overpower the other. Voices we hear speak of defeat, violence, starvation, illness, depression, displacement, separation, and death. Israel’s previous way of life is altered, but we are brought into their experience, story, and viewpoint, so that we may embrace the heartache and sorrow with them. Because of this book, we are also called to hear the voice of the lost, broken, hurt, and oppressed. We are called to listen to stories of defeat, violence, starvation, illness, depression, displacement, separation, and death, so that we as the church, the body of Christ, can live out and usher in the lived-out hope, healing, renewal and restoration of God to those who are crying out.
Let’s talk about listening to the voice of the lost, broken, hurt, and oppressed and how our vote can either maintain a status quo or could possibly bring about healing, hope, and restoration to those who are crying out.