It goes without saying that I absolutely love the songs written by Michael J. Card. And his enthralling and captivating words appear in one of his books, A Sacred Sorrow, that I just got to know about from a post shared on Instagram this week.
Please get hold of this book if you can and share your thoughts.
Below is an excerpt of the first page:
“Before there were drops of rain, human tears fell in the garden, and that was when lament began. In Eden, Adam and Eve enjoyed the unbroken Presence of God. It was immediate and intimate. His hesed, an untranslatable Hebrew word often rendered “loving-kindness,” was a given, reliable as the fresh, newly created air they both breathed.
Then, in a moment when the Presence seemed somehow impossibly absent, in some forgotten corner of the garden, Satan, the Accuser and ultimate cause of all lament, called into question the hesed of God.
“Here is some wonderful, life-giving fruit that He does not want you to have,” he, in effect, hissed at Eve. He longed to deceive the first couple into believing that in order to know God, they only needed to know and receive His gifts. The great lie was that God’s gifts were all that He was. The temptation was to believe that if the gift could not be had, then it was somehow not really real and neither was God’s love. Do these vile whisperings sound at all familiar to you? Do you remember ever hearing them in some dark forgotten corner of your heart?
When it seemed His Presence was absent, the Accuser accused God of acting in a way inconsistent with His hesed. After all, Someone who is truly loving does not keep good gifts from His children, does He?
“Why doesn’t He?”
“Where is He?”
And so the bite was taken. But it was not simply the bite itself that caused the Fall and gave birth to the first groanings of lament from both creature and creation. The bite was only a consequent act of disbelief. It was the denial and doubting of God’s hesed that led to the dis-belief that caused the two prodigals to be driven into the wilderness of His absence, never to return. It was bound up with the mis-belief that God was only the sum of His gifts and no more. All this flowing from the stubborn sin of un-belief.
Michael J. Card writes in his book A Sacred Sorrow that “Lament is the path that takes us to the place where we discover that there is no complete answer to pain and suffering, only Presence”