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“How bitterly she weeps!”

“How bitterly she weeps!”

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC, 2019.

01 July 2020

Lamentation is appropriate, even necessary, to recovering from the pandemic, says twenty-something British writer Annika Mathews in her moving meditation on the conquered and destroyed city of Jerusalem.

“Such pain, anguish and even anger are all emotions I have felt in varying degrees over the past few months, no doubt mirrored by countless others,” she writes, as she reflects on the opening scenes of the biblical book Lamentations, the Prophet Jeremiah’s elegies on Jerusalem.

“Being faced with calamity, sudden losses, crushed expectations and failed plans, and for some serious illness or even death, causes such emotions and crying out to God. It is only natural and in my eyes important to acknowledge all this, before moving forward and looking ahead.”

“We need to lament,” says Mathews. “It is OK and perhaps important to stop, process and reflect before going again, as otherwise we run the risk of not noticing what is missing from our lives, of reflecting what needs to change, of considering our values and desires as well as the needs of our neighbours.”

Mathews’s Bible study is the latest addition to “Healing the World: Spiritual Resources for Today,” a collection of biblical meditations, prayers, and blogposts to enable individuals, groups, and congregations to come to terms with the coronavirus pandemic and its far-reaching consequences.

Read Mathews’ “From the Old Jerusalem to the New”

See prior entries in this series

Visit the gathering of prayers responding to the pandemic

Learn more about the “Healing the World” project