71 posts

A collection of all my articles relating to lament and the Book of Lamentations.

Grieve not, unless you you have something to grieve about.

One of the many books on grieving that have been sent to us is a slim little volume Good Grief by Granger Westberg. It is an excellent, brief summary of the various stages of grief that most of us go through, with particular emphasis upon the role of faith in grieving. He also makes the valuable point that we often grieve for a variety of reasons, not just the death of a loved one. The loss […]

Capturing Mack

It is so odd how we count time. If we go by weeks, then it was four weeks ago this past Monday night that Mack died, December 31st. If we go by days on the calendar then today, January 31st, is the one month mark. Our friend and fellow Celtic parent David Rockower is an English teacher and also writes for a local paper. He shared this more personal reflection with me and suggested I […]

The snow is falling

Gently, light and fluffy, the snow is falling. It hasn’t been much, just an inch or two. Mack loved snow, loved to play in it, sled, dig into it building forts. He would have been out already, even as I write at 7 am. But he wouldn’t have liked this snow. He would have complained that it was too fluffy, not good for packing and building. Easy to shovel though. I have to be careful not […]

Quick Take: Job again

My wife asked my yesterday why I kept thinking and talking Job. It is because it is the locus classicus of human suffering and the demand for divine explanation. Today I wondered, “Are we cursed like Job?” Then I wondered, was he cursed or just human, experiencing life with all its loss and suffering. Cursed or Living?  

Are we impressed with the hippopotamus?

This past week my close friend and mentor recommended to me Charles Williams’ War in Heaven. Williams is the member of the “Inklings” that most of us forget about, but whom many consider to be the best theologian of the bunch. (I am on record as attributing that crown to Dorothy L. Sayers.) I am not terribly far into this “mystery-supernatural thriller” (as one blurb put it), but early on there is this exchange between […]

A word about this blog, grief, beauty and joy

I just want to reassure readers that while there will undoubtedly be more posts about my (and our, but I tend to let my wife speak for herself) experiences and thoughts grieving for the loss of our son, the blog Targuman will not become solely about theodicy. When I began this blog I decided not to make it focused upon anything other than my own interests. As a result there are times when I have […]

How to lament

It has barely been over one week since our wonderful boy died. It was fast, sudden, and completely unexpected. It was not an accident or a prolonged illness, but rather a bacterial infection of the blood. We are thankful for the small grace that he was in very little pain and it was swift. But that is, as they say, cold comfort. We are riven with grief, disbelief, and the fundamental truth that we just […]

Lamentations and Tisha b’Av

This past weekend was spent doing various work around that house that required lots of hours and very little thought. Good for the soul, perhaps, but I feel like I lost two days in a wormhole. I missed offering my best wishes for a good observance on Tisha b’Av, so today I will offer instead my presentation from last week’s Catholic Biblical Association. This paper was part of the working group for the Bible in […]

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – A Homily for Good Friday

The Seven Last Words of ChristThe Fourth Word Matt. 27:45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus’ cry, quoting the first words of Psalm 22, is perhaps one of the most challenging passages in the Bible. Not only is the entire […]

The Five Scrolls in the RCL and BCP

Or not… I am working on a book proposal for an Anglican publisher that will offer a study of the Megillot, or “Five Scrolls.” This canonical division is, as most of you know, Jewish not Christian, but there are good reason, IMHO, for dealing with them together. So in writing my proposal it occurred to me to check and see how often these texts are read in either the Book of Common Prayer’s lectionary or […]