Keep Awake - Wednesday

read Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
from the artist | Lisle Gwynn Garrity

Psalms of lament, such as Psalm 80, give us permission to add our voice to the choruses of faithful outcries throughout the ages. They give us permission to be fully honest—with ourselves and with God. They give us permission to proclaim that God is powerful enough to take it—and to respond to our pleas.

Lamenting, therefore, is an act of robust faith. When we cry out to God, we name the disruption, disorientation, and disorder of our lives. We dismantle the myth that we have everything under control. We awaken to our own pain and the suffering of others. We ask God to wake up God’s power.

In this image, I drew a visual prayer of lament, grieving some of the many hardships we’ve collectively faced in 2020. A healthcare worker masks her son as he prepares to go into a precarious learning environment. A church building announces its closure. A crashing stock market creates a chasm through the composition. An eviction notice and a Zoom meeting loom in the background. An obituary hangs near hands testing a COVID-19 vaccine. Tears fall like rain.

While drawing this, I kept adding more and more laments. The page filled, and yet I couldn’t fit it all in. As you reflect on this scene, I invite you to consider your own grief. Contemplate what images you would include to compose your own visual prayer of lament. God, wake up your power. Restore us. Let your face shine, so that we might be saved.

In quiet contemplation, focus on the image below, reflecting on how the imagery illuminates what you find in the scripture and artist’s statement. Conclude with a silent or spoken prayer to God.
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