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Lament in Practice

September 18, 2020

Amy Malskeit


If you find yourself holding grief, but not knowing where to start with writing your lament, this exercise may be a place to begin. Below is a lament I wrote in the form of a French Pantoum using prompts (included below) from Anam Cara Ministries. Use it as often as you need. May your heart be deepened, widened, and strengthened as you lament, turning toward God in your grief.


Lament for COVID-19: A French Pantoum


Creator God, not one detail escapes your notice.

And yet an invisible virus stalks us, divides us, paralyzes strong and weak alike.

Where can I go to find the nearness of Your love? Why do You seem so far away?

Bring wholeness and healing to all that is broken.


A virus divides us, stalks us, paralyzes strong and weak alike.

What was broken by sin continues to break faster, wider, deeper.

Bring Your wholeness to all that is broken, healing to all who are sick.

Without You we will continue in our free fall.


What was broken by sin continues: to break deeper, wider, faster.

Why do you seem so far away? Where is the nearness of Your love?

Without You we continue our free fall.

Creator God, You designed each snowflake.

Not one detail escapes Your notice.


© Amy Malskeit 2020


Practicing Lament

© Anam Cara Ministries, reproduced with permission, for personal use only


Stanza 1:

Line 1: Who I know God to be right now:


Line 2: The cause of my lament—why I cry out:


Line 3: What the situation makes me feel about God:


Line 4: What I long to see happen in the situation:



Stanza 2:

Line 5 (repeat of line 2 in stanza 1):


Line 6: (new line):


Line 7 (repeat of line 4 in stanza 1):


Line 8 (new line):


Stanza 3:

Line 9 (repeat line 6 of stanza 2):


Line 10 (repeat line 3 of the first stanza):


Line 11 (repeat line 8 of stanza 2):


Line 12 (repeat line 1 of the first stanza):


The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski and is used with her kind permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project. 


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  1. Susan says:

    This is wonderful-thank you! There are times, especially in recent days, where it is a struggle to organize my thoughts and words. I look forward to sitting down with this as a tool to work through what is swirling around.

  2. Amy says:

    @Susan, I am so glad this feels like it will be helpful. May it bring some clarity to you in the swirl. I am so grateful to Anam Cara’s willingness to share it here. Blessing.

  3. Tresta Payne says:

    This is valuable and beautiful, Amy. I’m digging through all the goodness of Cultivating this morning and this post f(rom over a year ago) blesses me.

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