Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice

Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice

Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice

Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice


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Our culture wants you to be happy. It rewards those who smile through the pain, who pretend everything's fine, who compartmentalize grief and get on with life. But everything's not fine. And God does not expect us to pretend it is. He wants all of us—including our pain.

Perhaps nowhere in Scripture do we get as full a picture of the heights and depths of the human experience as in the Psalms. The outpourings of emotion never shy away from the darkest moments of life, and yet they also point toward the light—toward the God in whom we place our hope.

Inspired by Psalm 37, Voices of Lament is a powerful collection of reflections from Christian Women of Color on themes of injustice, heartache, and deep suffering. Their essays, prayers, poems, and liturgies lay bare the experiences of the oppressed even as they draw us into deeper intimacy with God and a more fulsome understanding of each other.

For anyone who longs to better express and understand the beauty of lament held in holy tension with hope and love, this extraordinary collection presents both well-known and new voices from various ethnic and people groups and different generations, putting God's faithfulness on full and glorious display.


"Natasha Sistrunk Robinson has brought a collection to the forefront that shows the beauty and depth of Women of Color voices and shared experiences. . . . This book is for anyone who is broken, longing for justice, and trusting that 'Jesus is a rock in a weary land.' These insights invite you to feast, fellowship, listen, and learn at the table of the marginalized."—Latasha Morrison, founder of Be the Bridge and author of Be the Bridge, from the foreword

"You will not read Psalm 37 the same again after you've immersed yourself in this rich collection of poems, reflections, essays, and prayers. The contributors bear honest, life-grounded witness to God's faithful and just response to wickedness. They also honor their ancestors, who have committed themselves to the way of the Lord. The book sings like an anthem through which lament and longing break forth and breathe life. It will embolden you to cry out, wage peace, and cultivate real abundance in solidarity and prayer with Women of Color."—Janette H. Ok, associate professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary

"The collective voice reflected in these Women of Color not only teaches the truths of Psalm 37 but provides an embodied and lived hope that the Western church is longing for. The poems, liturgies, litanies, devotions, and historical biographies remind us that the Spirit has always been moving in the marginalized, if only we would pay attention. Natasha Sistrunk Robinson has curated a deeply meaningful handbook for prayer and worship by meditating on a central tenet of our faith: from mourning comes the morning. If you want to grow your faith in a global context, this is a must-read!"—Mike Ahn, PhD, MDiv, assistant dean of Chapels & Worship, Biola University

"Voices of Lament illuminates the power, wisdom, and inspiration that Women of Color bring to their families, communities, and society. Through stories, art, poetry, and prose, this book leads us through a journey of reflection, connection, and hope. Here you will find a call to stand for justice, to lead with faith, and to be guided by the wisdom from the stories of Women of Color, elders, and ancestors who have gone before us."—Kimberly R. Daniel, coauthor of A Way Out of No Way: An Approach to Christian Innovation and senior director of communications, Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE)

"Voices of Lament is a book for our time. To those who are weary from the ongoing onslaught of unjust policies and practices by those in positions of power comes a fresh word from our sisters who remind us to look to the Psalms for hope and words of life. This is an invitation to bring our full selves, our lament, anger, and hope to a God who is able to hold it all and invites us to join in the healing work of justice in a broken world."—Darryl Answer, pastor at New Community Church, Kansas City, MO

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800740900
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/20/2022
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 218,176
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Natasha Sistrunk Robinson is president of T3 Leadership Solutions Inc., founder and chair of Leadership LINKS, Inc., and a sought-after international speaker, consultant, and executive coach. A former US Marine Corps officer and federal employee at the Department of Homeland Security, Robinson is the author of A Sojourner's Truth, Mentor for Life, and the Hope for Us Bible study. She is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is currently a doctoral candidate at North Park Theological Seminary. Robinson lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter.

Table of Contents

Foreword Latasha Morrison 9

Acknowledgments 11

Introduction: Answering the Call to Lead in the Dark Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 15

Psalm 37 23

Strophe 1 Psalm 37:1-6

1 My Utmost Delight 30

A Poem Ifueko Fex Ogbomo, Nigerian Poet

2 When the Evil Flourish 36

Verses 1-2: A Reflection Marlena Graves

3 Blessings in Brokenness 42

Verses 3-4: A Reflection Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien

4 Roll Upon the Lord 50

Verses 5-6: A Reflection Sandra Maria Van Opstal

Strophe 2 Psalm 37:7-11

5 Anger, 1 Will Not Tame Her 62

A Poem Tasha Jun, Korean American Storyteller

6 My Ancestors' Perseverance, My Voice to Carry 65

Verse 7: A Reflection Ruth Buffalo

7 Pursuing Justice May Start with Anger 73

Verse 8: A Reflection Kathy Khang

8 Displacement and Belonging 80

Verses 9-11: A Reflection Kat Armas

Strophe 3 Psalm 37:12-17

9 Lying in Weight 90

A Poem Medgina Saint-Elien, Haitian American Poet

10 When Will Their Day Come? 93

Verses 12-13: A Reflection Bethany Rivera Molinar

11 Bending the Bow of Peace 101

Verses 14-15: A Reflection Jenny Yang

12 Just One Suitcase 108

Verses 16-17: A Reflection Lisa Rodriguez-Watson

Strophe 4 Psalm 37:18-22

13 Alpha and Omega 118

A Poem Mazaré, African American Spoken-Word Poet

14 Walking Blameless in the Dark 121

Verses 18-19: A Reflection Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

15 The Wicked Will Perish 129

Verse 20: A Reflection Michelle Ami Reyes

16 Generous Like Our God 138

Verses 21-22: A Reflection Vivian Mabuni

Strophe 5 Psalm 37:23-28a

17 Este Mvskokvlke, paksvnke, mucvnettv, pakse 148

Mvskoke People, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow A Liturgy Mariah Humphries, Mvskoke Nation Citizen 148

18 Though We Stumble 155

Verses 23-24: A Reflection Sheila Wise Rowe

19 Hunger Pains 161

Verses 25-26: A Reflection QuaWanna N. Bannarbie

20 The Lord Loves Justice 170

Verses 27-28a: A Reflection Kristie Anyabwile

Strophe 6 Psalm 37:28b-33

21 The Peacemaker: With a Throat Full of Heart and Ancestors 180

A Poem Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros, Tejana, Chicana, and Mujerista Poet

22 Meekness, Not Weakness 182

Verses 28b-29: A Reflection Noemi Chavez

23 A Heart That Speaks Wisdom and Justice 189

Verses 30-31: A Reflection Ka Richards

24 Owning My Heritage as Queen 197

Verses 32-33: A Reflection Rebecca Deng

Strophe 7 Psalm 37:34-40

25 Release in Me a Song of Lament 208

A Poem Grace P. Cho, Korean American Writer

26 Why Women Wail 215

Verse 34: A Litany Patricia Raybon, African American Writer

27 The Tree That Withers 220

Verses 35-36: A Reflection Dennae Pierre

28 Live in a Good Way 227

Verses 37-38: A Reflection Renee Kylestewa Begay

29 A Mighty Strong Tower 234

Verses 39-40: A Reflection K. A. Ellis

30 What Carries Us Home: A Poem for Generation Z 242

Medgina Saint-Ellen, Tasha fun, Grace P. Cho, Mazaré, and Mariak Humphries

Epilogue: Living Up to a Name Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 247

Benediction 249

About the Contributors 251

Notes 259

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