We continue to feel the real effects of trauma. People are still having nightmares, working long hours, experiencing fear, pain, and shame. They are grieving and mourning. It is physical. It is messy. To pretend this is not happening denies the sacred work of lament that we have to do. God does not deny us this opportunity in the Scriptures. As bothWalter Brueggemann and N.T. Wright have pointed out on recent visits to our campus, we need the psalms of lament to speak our prayers just as much as we need the psalms of praise. God has graciously provided those Scriptures to speak our prayers, and "the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans" (Romans 8:26).
I hope that, sometime before the new school year begins, we can invite the priest back to our office. I'm not quite ready for it now, but do I hope that we can be blessed, and that it is a little messy. I don't even mind if the priest flings some water on my MacBook, or on my piles of magazine proofs. We will be blessed, and that will be what we need.
Hannah Faith Notess is managing editor of Seattle Pacific University's Response magazine.