“Lament is the lost language of worship.” –Michael Card
I’ve been hoarding an old cassette entitled “The Way of Wisdom” by Michael Card. The tracks are all songs based on Psalms and the books of Wisdom.
One of the tracks is the “Job Suite.” Now that I have done in-depth studies of Job over the past few years (in my personal study and in my small group), I have a better understanding of the progression of discourse.
In Card’s rendition, there are clear pauses when a different person is about to speak (note that there are no direct quotes from the “friends.” Instead Job summarizes their part in his lament). Although the voices are the same, you can hear the difference in the roles.*
I am so thankful that Job is included in the Bible, and that the story is told from beginning to end.
In a 2006 article in Christianity Today, Card shares some great insights about what is missing in our worship. He notes how contemporary Christian music (namely American) has a lot of good aspects, yet is missing an element of lament –we celebrate that we are found without acknowledging that we were ever lost.
But worship isn't just about music. Even if if you don't like Michael Card's style, he has an important message about making our very lives a continual act of worship, especially those painful times.
From the interview: "A friend was out on a pastoral call when a drunk driver hit his car and paralyzed him. He was lamenting when he powerfully experienced God's presence. When the immediacy of that presence started to leave, he cried out, 'You don't have to heal me. Just don't leave me.' He realized he needed God's presence more than God's provision."
Read more here.
*I didn't find a version online, but you can find the lyrics on the Internet as well as purchase the album.