A Cry of Lament
A guest post written by Stephanie Bankhead
These past several weeks have been exceptionally difficult. It is easy to read the news and allow frustration and grief to settle in like a rock sinking to the bottom of a pond.
To make matters worse, I have had several very tense conversations with White friends. I want so badly for them to understand and acknowledge the cry of our fellow humans of color. But I walk away from those conversations feeling like the road ahead is steep and rocky. It feels monumental.
In an effort to deal with all the mixed emotions that have plagued me lately, I have written this cry of lament. I’m sharing it with you in hopes that it will help you too. That God’s love will settle over you and bring a peace that passes understanding.
This is my cry…
O Most High and Holy God,
There is a chasm wider than any canyon on earth between Your children this day.
We are so self-absorbed and self-protective that we can’t see our fellow humans
for the beautiful images of You that they are.
We are angry and always ready for a fight.
We are killing and maiming each other literally and figuratively.
Even though Your Word clearly tells us that there is no distinction of hierarchy in Your Kingdom,
we classify and label in order to elevate ourselves to higher status.
We stand in pride, refusing to see our brothers and sisters who are hurting and in pain.
Because acknowledging their pain and oppression would be admitting that we have done wrong.
Lord God, we need You.
We need You to change hearts and mindsets.
Help us to be gentle in our conversations with those who aren’t ready to hear and to ask more questions than to argue.
Give us a heart of humility and repentance. We have done wrong.
We have sinned against you and against our fellow human beings.
Please let our convictions show through our words and actions.
We need Your Holy Spirit to bring peace and open our eyes.
You, Lord Jesus, went around doing good when you walked on this dusty earth two thousand years ago.
Empower us to do good too. We want to be like You.
You are the lifter of the oppressed. You set captives free.
Jesus, You are our freedom. Your death and resurrection has saved us and set us free.
We want to live like we believe that with all our hearts.
No matter the crazy circumstances of the world, we trust You, God.
We put our hope in You. You saved us before and You will save us once again.
We will shout with joy the new song of freedom and love that You have put in our mouths.
We will sing of Your goodness and mercy all of our days.
Your grace is sufficient.
And we thank You.
In Jesus’s Name I pray.
Stephanie Bankhead is a Bible teacher, mentor and author of several Bible studies. She has worked at a local church as the Women’s Ministry Leader since 2013. In 2018, she became an ordained Teaching Pastor. Before that, she worked as the director of a very successful youth volleyball club.
What both of these experiences taught her is that women are still little girls inside. Deep down we are all still asking the same questions, “Am I capable? Am I attractive? Am I enough?”
Stephanie delivers sermons and speaks at women’s events on a multitude of topics. Her favorite topic is teaching people what the Bible says about their own identity in God.
Stephanie lives in Amarillo, Texas with her husband of 32 years. They have a rescue pup who barks too much, and a bird abandoned when her two grown children flew the nest. Her four grandchildren are the apples of her eye.