January #ThemeOfTheMonth: Lament

Added about 6 months ago by Sacristy Press

As we draw a line under another year that has been uncertain and painful for many we have asked two of our authors to share their thoughts on lament as part of our January #ThemeOfTheMonth

John Holdsworth, author of Honest Sadness: Lament in a Pandemic Age, debates the difference between lament and protest and encourages us to embrace the distinctiveness of lament.

Honest Sadness is a vaccine for traumatized souls. John Holdsworth dares to let love be dangerous in places where any words will be wrong. All those baffled-by-tragedy-broken-hearted-folk will find rich solace here, as they realise the silence of God is not a disaster. All those stiff-upper-lipped-alpha-Christians will so lament they never even shed a tear.

The Rt Revd David Wilbourne, Honorary Assistant Bishop of York

This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. “Honest sadness” and “Faithful incomprehension” are just two arresting terms summarising what is a no-holds-barred engagement with suffering, and its effect on how we make sense of ourselves and our faith in God.

Rt Revd John Saxbee, The Diocese of St David’s

Meanwhile, Sarah Parkinson author of Searching for a Silent God, talks us through lament as a response to spiritual crisis.

Searching for a Silent God is courageous writing from the far shore where Sarah Parkinson found that God was “blanking” her. Many of us find ourselves in this kind of struggle with God’s disappearing act. Sarah lets us in on her need to make sense of difficult and complex things, “where doctrine rubbed up against realities”. Here is a person who has been to the “ragged edges” of her faith and has come back with the treasures of darkness.

Sarah has a poet’s way with words that gives texture to experiences which often elude language. She is honest with herself and with us.

The Rt Revd Alison White, Bishop of Hull

[These] are poems to be prayed through, perfectly illustrating the unfathomable God whom Parkinson discovers in the silent darkness when she still knows that God is there, but cannot get him to turn and answer. At the heart of the book is the question: If my identity is found in God, then who am I, what is left, when God will not speak to me or respond?

The Revd Richard Lamey, The Church Times

Keep your eye on our blog and social media through out the month to see what these two authors have to say on our #ThemeOfTheMonth: Lament and pick up your copies of their books here

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Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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