If you find yourself holding grief, but not knowing where to start with writing your lament, this exercise may be a place to begin. Below is a lament I wrote in the form of a French Pantoum using prompts (included below) from Anam Cara Ministries. Use it as often as you need. May your heart be deepened, widened, and strengthened as you lament, turning toward God in your grief.
Lament for COVID-19: A French Pantoum
Creator God, not one detail escapes your notice.
And yet an invisible virus stalks us, divides us, paralyzes strong and weak alike.
Where can I go to find the nearness of Your love? Why do You seem so far away?
Bring wholeness and healing to all that is broken.
A virus divides us, stalks us, paralyzes strong and weak alike.
What was broken by sin continues to break faster, wider, deeper.
Bring Your wholeness to all that is broken, healing to all who are sick.
Without You we will continue in our free fall.
What was broken by sin continues: to break deeper, wider, faster.
Why do you seem so far away? Where is the nearness of Your love?
Without You we continue our free fall.
Creator God, You designed each snowflake.
Not one detail escapes Your notice.
© Amy Malskeit 2020
© Anam Cara Ministries, reproduced with permission, for personal use only
Line 1: Who I know God to be right now:
Line 2: The cause of my lament—why I cry out:
Line 3: What the situation makes me feel about God:
Line 4: What I long to see happen in the situation:
Line 5 (repeat of line 2 in stanza 1):
Line 6: (new line):
Line 7 (repeat of line 4 in stanza 1):
Line 8 (new line):
Line 9 (repeat line 6 of stanza 2):
Line 10 (repeat line 3 of the first stanza):
Line 11 (repeat line 8 of stanza 2):
Line 12 (repeat line 1 of the first stanza):
The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski and is used with her kind permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project.
Amy Malskeit is a lover of words and stories and people. She holds an undergraduate degree in English and Spanish, a secondary English teaching credential, and an MA in creative writing with an emphasis in poetry from Lancaster University in Northwest England. Her years teaching middle and high school gave her a love for middle grade and young adult literature, and the awkward awesome that being a young adult means. She is a mother of two who plants her garden and makes her home in the foothills southwest of Denver with her best friend, Kevin. She loves the water, and feels most at home when she is near the Pacific Ocean. She reads broadly, and is passionate about exploring big questions and small moments through her poetry, essays, and stories.