Of Sackcloth and Ashes

For Jesus and the culture

My mother has done something strange but biblical. She sewed together a few of those old timey rice bags and made what looked like a blanket. And lain in it to cry out her sorrows to God. She’s Haitian so when she said something about “levangil sack’la.” I started dying laughing.

This morning, I got on my bible and there in my devotion was an opposite representation of the sackcloth thing. That it was whiny?!

While we have no idea what the biblical principles of sackcloth and ashes was originally for or the method of carrying it out, I totally get it. We are in unprecedented times. We have a global pandemic plus flu season plus BLM plus mass unrest plus election plus supreme court nominee situation and we are surrounded by death. Death of our economy. Death of our routine. Death of actual family and friends. Death of strangers who our lives were touched by. Perhaps indeed it is a time to adorn ourselves in sackloth and cry out for communal healing.

I have way too many allergies to be physically donning anything not made of cotton but there is a tremendous amount of grief that I don today, and a God who is big enough to shoulder the loan if I give it to him.

Casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

I’m giving you permission to day to whine to God all day long. Whine about how if ACA is taken away you will be without insurance as a chronically ill person. Whine about being accosted at every turn just to do your job. Whine about your people being killed by people who are supposedly just doing their job. God sees all and knows all. We only have part of the story. The scene that we are in right now. But I have to believe that there’s a bigger picture. Something more happening now that I can’t see. That this is merely the strain it takes to become a butterfly.