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Honest Sadness

Author John Holdsworth
Publisher Sacristy Press £12.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781789591613

We could be forgiven for thinking that lament does not have a place in our sophisticated society. It hardly appears in the New Testament, being more associated with the Books of Lamentations and Psalms in the Old Testament. However the author takes another view, one in which it is time for us to acknowledge the significant role that lament can play in allowing us to express our emotions. These can be personal, and the author vividly describes his grief at the slow and painful deterioration of his beloved wife, Sue, due to dementia. Emotions can be communal. In each chapter he describes events, for example, protests in Beirut, a family of refugees in Cyprus and the response of the public to the first lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, which form the platform to explore our understanding of lament as Christians through the Bible, poetry, and song. We are challenged to reflect honestly on what emotions we have felt whilst reading each story, to think what the Bible teaches us about lament and to encourage openness in our own ministries.

Reviewed by PETER V DYER

Lamentation, spirituality