There are some books which we need to read and have in our library even though we are not able to immediately appreciate their full value. I think Mark Vroegop’s book Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is one of those books. Even though the book does a good job to explain why we need to learn how to lament now, it is quite obvious that there is another layer to this book that can only be felt when we ourselves are walking in a very deeply painful situation. There are not many memorable lines in the book. What the book does is that it keeps reminding us to empty out our pain before God in a way that honours him. I found the early chapters particularly helpful in this regard. The middle section on lamentations was also outstanding. The final third was less so. I think if I have a complaint, it is that he tries to cover too many aspects of lament. I don’t think combining the personal, corporate and pastoral elements of lament did the job. A shorter book focused on only one of those areas would have given it a sharper feel. The corporate elements particularly seemed less well articulated. The main gap in the book is lack of forensic New Testament treatment of lament. I have just been listening to the Gospel of Luke earlier in the day and I was struck by Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem. It would have been nice to see such passages explored. The book is unbalanced in that sense. Too OT heavy. That aside, it is well worth the read!
“Giving God the silent treatment is the ultimate manifestation of unbelief. Despair lives under the hopeless resignation that God doesn’t care, he doesn’t hear, and nothing is ever going to change. People who believe this stop praying. They give up”
“Christians never complain just to complain. Instead, we bring our complaints to the Lord for the purpose of moving us toward him. We allow the honest opening of our souls to become a doorway to the other elements of lament.