A couple of months ago, as we approached the first anniversary of the coronavirus outbreaks, I felt a strong, physical urge to grieve out loud and with other people. I have cried plenty of private tears through this covid year and have had days of numbness too. I’ve even released my primal screams into the void when I think no one’s listening.
As a pastor, I’ve learned to trust that if I need something spiritually, other people do too. I started thinking, “how could we gather to lament?” I thought of having a spaced drum circle where we could wear masks and make music together in safety. We would gather to lament.
On the anniversary of the coronavirus shut down–the day that I announced that the church building would close indefinitely–a group of 20 people gathered for a drum circle outside our church’s narthex.
As I learned from mourners in rural Malawi, East Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer, something important happens when we gather to grieve. There was lament. There was catharsis. And then, there was peace.
This message is an excerpt of “Lamenting together” by Sarah S. Scherschligt in the April 2021 issue of Boldcafe.