Book Review – Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

Book Review – Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

Review by Fiona Mowat
Lament is not something I’ve thought much about. I knew it was biblical but it wasn’t something that I was particularly interested in. So when my husband bought this book recently, I didn’t plan on reading it!  But life happens – often in ways we don’t expect or desire. I reached the end of myself recently, when blow after blow overwhelmed me. I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down. It was the music my soul was searching for. It provided the means of comfort that I needed.

When we’re at our lowest, God has our attention. He wants us to bring our pain, sorrow and confusion to him. This book explains how we bring our sorrow to God through lament. Lament is the minor key language for our suffering. Using his personal experience, the author shares his own journey from despair to hope.

“To cry is human, but to lament is Christian.”

The book explains that there are four key elements of lament: turn, complain, ask, and trust. We find laments in about a third of the psalms and the author takes us through four examples to teach us how to lament. He then focuses on the book of Lamentations to show us the purpose of laments. In short, lamenting allows us to hear the lessons God intends to teach us through pain. At the end of each chapter there are reflection questions to help the reader sort through their feelings and go a little bit deeper.

”Lament is a prayer in pain that leads to trust.”

I found this book to be hope-filled and life-giving. It gave me a biblical framework for bringing my trials and suffering to God and it validated my expressions of pain while giving me a God-centred focus, rather than one of self-pity.

“Lament is the transition between pain and promise.”

I read Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy before we felt the full impact of Covid-19 in the UK. Learning to lament has never been more needed as a church, as a community. It is where we find truth, grace, desire for justice and hope – no matter what we face. I highly recommend this book!

The book costs £7.99, and is available here.