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Lament As Empathy & Repentance



E is For Empathy:



 God shows up in the middle of an already heated environment, a spark becomes a flame, then God speaks out of that fire. Its holy Ground not because its burning, bushes burnt often in that climate. Its holy because God is in the midst of it. Decreeing the uniqueness of what’s happening & claiming His presence in it, the first thing God expresses is compassion, grief, & empathy around the suffering of a specific peoples.  


E is for Empathy:

Have we forgotten how to lament? 


In this season where so many around the world are openly & collectively expressing pain from oppression, lament is a godly response. Lament, a practice found throughout scripture, is not a mad dash to problem solve or fix a situation. It refuses to grab first for quickie rebuttals, rebuffs, or easy answers. To lament in this current context is to prioritizes a show of solidarity with the oppressed. In lament we resist the urge to grab for denial, debate, argument, semantics, or even solutions. Instead, we show up to grieve with, sit with the afflicted & join them in anger & sorrow for their experiences & losses.   Like Jesus, who “is touched with the feelings of our weaknesses” who is ‘moved with compassion” for our ails, in lament, we too allow ourselves to be touched by the ails & sorrows of another. 


To lament is to accept the gift of grief, & serve as an ally by sitting in that sorrow for a while.

 God was there first & is now inviting you to join him there too. 


Empathy: to understand & share the feelings of another. 

Compassion: Sympathy & concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

 Lament: An authentic expression of grief & anger, mourning & complaint before God


.  Look at the horrific & not look away, but sit in it for a bit.  

Picture of slave with whipped back.  Just get over it. Quit whining about it. Playing the race card. Youtube lying about it. That’s your problem not our. Nigger. Police brutality


Consider the loss, the cruelty, the struggle, the feelings of being prey, the trauma.

Pray for the racially victimized. Pray for law enforcement & protestors who lost their lives.


Empathy & Compassion produce different ‘next steps’ than reasonings & zeal do.


40 verses about lament

Image by Cristian Newman



R is for Repentance 


 Racism is real. It was rooted in the nation. Its effects are still felt today.

Here are some themes...

You did not enslave. You did not create systemic inequity. You did not kill, hunt or harm a suspect. You have not intentionally acted racist.  You do not support racism. What do you have to repent for? 


Click: Jane video about taking their place. 

Apathy?  Silence?  Inaction?  

Good samaritan verse.


Admit the possibility of unconscious bias.

Ask God to show you an area of unaddressed prejudice. Repent.

When you see a young balck male, what are some of your initial responses? 

Admit it if you have treated them as liars rather than consider them true. 


The church is still highly segregated.

 Do you see anything wrong about that?

How Have I been complicit in…?

Search me & know me. Examine my heart. 


Unfair practices: Rich/poor seating charts.  Black/white purse clutching.


Ditched Humility?

Prayer of not knowing it all.


Unfair practices: Rich/poor seating charts.  Black/white purse clutching.



In Daniel 9, Daniel prays a prayer that modern intercessors have called "identificational repentance." What's that? In his prayer, Daniel confesses the sins of Israel (generations of sin) that had caused the present upheaval being experienced in the land.  They were not Daniel's sins; he had nothing to do with them. They were the sins of his ancestors. But Daniel chose to identify with them, and he repented of them and asked for forgiveness. God responded to Daniel's prayer and soon poured out His blessing on Israel again.

Today in the United States, we have a generational sin--the sin of racism--that has both hampered the Church and kept our nation from receiving the full blessing of God. In fact the results of not dealing with this sin have now put our nation in huge turmoil. We need to see an end to racism in the Church and in our nation.

Will You Identify?

We need believers all across this country to "identify" with the sin of racism, and be a part of a unified repentance and confession and a humble plea for God to bring racial healing.

How about the role the Church has played in perpetuating racism?

Not all experiences that seem racist are racist. 

We have come so far. To deny that is to deny reality.

If you’ve experienced racism:

Its OK to be hurt & disappointed. Its not healthy to be bitter & offended.


Release any grudge toward those who’ve been responding to the reality of racism in hurtful ways: Those who deny racism is a problem, the deflectors, the subject changers, those with unconscious bias & those openly racist, those who blame blacks, those who have chosen silence, the Church’s role 

Repentance for holding offense, resentment, grudges & unforgiveness toward the perpetrator or toward whites. For wanting revenge, for apathetic toward the death of enforcement:  


Fight, flight or surrender the deep seated anger - allow God to transform it.  

Bless those who curse you - do good to those who are spiteful toward you. 


Come To Terms:

Biblical / Prejudice.

Unjust weights & balances.


Enable us to see the reality of racism and free us to challenge and uproot it from our society, our world and ourselves.

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Comming To Terms

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