“It was in that we wept genuine tears of lament, that I finally internalized the soulful turmoil and unashamed anguish we see in scripture and in our world.”

This post was written by one of the male staff members at Royal Family Kid’s Camp, a camp for foster kids from the LA area that Cornerstone held earlier this summer.

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, 
     and you will not hear? 
Or cry to you “Violence!”
      and you will not save? 
Why do you make me see iniquity,
      and why do you idly look at wrong?
 Destruction and violence are before me;
      strife and contention arise. 
So the law is paralyzed,
      and justice never goes forth. 
For the wicked surround the righteous;
      so justice goes forth perverted.
-Habakkuk 1:2-4

In early July, Scott preached a message on lament and it was foreign to me. It was difficult to imagine literally crying out to God. Still, I know many people in our church family have gone through unimaginable pain and can fully relate to the Psalmist’s words, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1)

But I fall into a different category. I’ve lived a comfortable life so far. Some of my greatest suffering is enduring traffic and my constant complaint is not being able to buy a house on the west side. I hear about suffering. I try to empathize with pain and injustice, but looking back, I see how shallow and disingenuous my empathy has been.

Things changed when I sat with fellow counselors and staff after a week at Royal Family Kid’s Camp. It was in that room of 36 grown men and women, as we wept genuine tears of lament, that I finally internalized the soulful turmoil and unashamed anguish we see in scripture and in our world. God took nearly 40 years to truly break my heart, but his timing is always perfect.

The Lord gave me kids of my own to love, and I love them enough to understand the fear of loss and the beauty of innocence. God led me to witness a group of unbelievable men and women pour their heart and souls into the lives of 26 foster kids 24 hours a day for a week at camp, to show me true selflessness. He showed me a little boy’s tearful goodbye with his camp counselor, to see that I can truly be a part of God’s plan. He showed me a hardened child, momentarily filled with joy as he dove into a swimming pool, to give me hope. And God showed me that same boy, torn away from his brother and sisters as he was driven back to his group home, to shatter my pride and give me a broken spirit.

We need you Lord. We cry out to you. Help us see your plan. Help us to know that you are watching over those kids. Take our sorrow of loss and hurt for those children and comfort us with the understanding that they are not forgotten; that you know their names. Finally, don’t let us ever forget what we experienced that week and give us the words to share the depth of our lament with the rest of our church family.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
-Habakkuk 3:17-19

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