"Be merciful to me, O, Lord, for I am in distress. My eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief."
Misery. Agony. Tears. The ancient psalmists knew of human frailty. Today we know it well, too. We groan. We grow faint. We wait. We try to hope. We doubt. We fall on our knees, weep, get up, and try again tomorrow. Humans haven't changed much over the generations.
Durham, NC author and writing instructor Alice J. Wisler knows of the devastation of loss. In 1997 her four-year-old son Daniel died from cancer treatments. He had braved eight months of chemo, radiation and surgery. "When he died, I felt hopeless. My emotions were raw." Although versed in the Bible since her childhood as a missionary kid in Japan, after her son's death, she discovered the Psalms in a new way.
"Using them to format your own poetry is healing," she says. "The Psalms are raw and real. Sometimes we need to come before God as we really are."
On Saturday, January 26 at 9:30 AM at Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church in Durham, Alice will be speaking on the importance of the psalms of lament in our life today and how God sustains us in our journeys of grief and loss. She will be reading from her new book, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache. Participants will engage in crafting their own psalms and a discussion using the topic "How to Reach Others in Grief" will follow.
All are invited to attend.
Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1902 Perry Street, Durham, NC 27705
For information on Alice's book and workshops, visit: http://www.alicewisler.com