Struggle and Hope

Written By:
Dave Hopwood
Bible Refs: Lam 3:19-26
Lectionary Weeks: Proper 22, Ordinary/Lectionary 27 (Year C)

This piece of creative writing sets the familliar text from Lamentations 3 in the context of a fictitious character. This character is struggling with life, and turns to the text for comfort. You could develop the idea by having an actor play the part silently as the text is read. Or you could invite the congregation to close their eyes and imagine the scene in their minds.

Extract from the text:

He picks up his old leather Bible and flicks the pages.
 His world is crumbling, his pain immense.
He doesn’t need songs of Glory or tales of triumph. 
He needs to know that God is with him at this moment.
In the trials and the torment. 
In the darkness and the difficulty.
He lets the pages fall past his face.
 The words melt into one another. 
A black and white river in flood, a torrent of letters.
 He feels a breeze brush his face, glances up to receive it.
 Sends up a silent scream of a prayer.
 No outward emotion, just a soul in torment.
When he looks down the pages have stopped fluttering.
In spite of the wind they are open and still.
 He reads, words that might well have come from his own pen.
 From his own heart.

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. It’s like wormwood and gall. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. My head hangs and my shoulders fall. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day...

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Dave is an author and speaker who loves communicating the Bible using contemporary media, humour, illustrations and stories. He is author of several books retelling the Bible including The Groovy Gospel, The Bloke’s Bible, and Film & Faith. He goes out speaking by invitation and regularly publishes ideas and material via his website:

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