Praise-Lament-Hope: Christian Practices for Quarantine
A Message from Chris De Vos, VP of Partnerships and Care
I’m writing this from my SIP (Sheltering in Place) Office in a spare bedroom on the second floor of our house. At this very moment, my wife is downstairs sewing fabric masks to be used in west Michigan hospitals. Her office (a dental practice) is shut down for at least the next two weeks, and she is restless, wanting to help. So, with the guidelines provided by our local hospitals, she is sewing up a storm and coordinating a group of others at our church who are also rooted in hope.
I, too, am restless, wanting to help. Because I’ve been teaching and training people in The Colossian Way group process for a couple of years, several Colossian Way practices have been useful for me in this viral moment. Perhaps they have for you, too. For me, I’m aware of these: my own fears signaling what I love, a confirmation bias that could threaten wisdom, the importance of starting with clear goals to love one another and God while engaging the crisis, and the formative practice of integrating important moments by turning Godward with praise, lament, and hope.
Those are a few of the practices I am using regularly. Maybe they can be of help to you. I wanted to share a few of my praises, laments, and hopes with you:
I praise God for gestures of hope offered by those sewing masks, working in hospitals, delivering food to children and shut-ins, and especially for God’s steady creation rhythm of life – for the tree buds bearing witness in my front yard!
I lament how impatient I can be while feeling “stuck at home” and how hard it is to be separated from my children and grandchildren. I lament for those deep in our Coronavirus ground zero of New York City (including the RCA pastors I know there).
I hope for healing, not only from this pandemic, but from our neglect of what really matters. I long for the day when there will be no more disease and death, no war or hostility, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
Feel free to return the gesture, either by emailing us at email@example.com or by posting yours on social media using #TCFPraise, #TCFLament, and #TCFHope. We’d love to hear from you.
Our blessings to you and your families.