Episode 135 of a Jew & a Gentile Walk into a Bar…Mitzvah finds the intrepid trio welcoming back to the podcast Rev. Abby Norman. You might ask, Abby who? (If you didn’t get the previous movie reference then you need to watch Young Frankenstein. Seriously.) Abby Norman is a writer, blogger, speaker, and licensed local pastor in the United Methodist Church. Her writing has been featured in Huffington Post, SheLoves Magazine, and The Mudroom. Abby lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her college sweetheart, two daughters, and a very bad dog. She comes to share about her new book “You Can Talk to God Like That: The Surprising Power of Lament to Save Your Faith.” To skip our opening mishigas begin listening at the 33:10 mark.
Praise is the only path to God–at least this is what many of us have been taught. But the notion that we have to be positive all the time, putting on a happy face through anger, frustration, and pain, hinders our ability not only to heal ourselves and society, but to have an authentic relationship with the Divine.
We long to connect with God over the very real sorrow in our lives and in the world around us, but so many of us were never shown how. This lack of knowing how to lament–an ancient practice of expressing anger and pain to God–damages us personally and spiritually.
Pastor Abby Norman is here to tell us that we can talk to God like that. In her fresh, tell-it-like-it-is voice, she unpacks the power of lament, providing us with the tools and the grace-filled permission to heal the problems we have been ignoring for too long. She shows us how to express our laments to God and to each other when things are definitely not okay. And through this process we will discover a richer connection with God–who has wanted nothing more than our whole selves from the start.