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In our weekly support call for faith leaders yesterday, one leader talked about the ritual he and his co-pastor are personally observing this Holy Week. They’ve asked their community to send them letters of lament, a space for them to pour on to the page everything they are personally grieving and carrying right now. On Good Friday night, their pastors will take time to sit around the fire, read their letters, and witness their individual grief. Then they’ll burn the letters in the fire.

It occurred to some of us that these support calls have become a similar space for our Good Friday laments. It is a space where faith leaders of every kind – whether you lead an online community or a church of 500, whether you serve the world through your writing or through working on the front lines of this pandemic – it’s a space to feel free to honestly express everything you are carrying right now and allow fellow leaders to witness your personal pain and suffering. It’s a space to be reminded that you also deserve all the empathy and love that you are showing to everyone you serve.

In case you haven’t heard this enough this week…you are loved. Your work is holy and you are needed in the world. Our collective prayer for you this week is that you might write your own letter of lament, sit in your own Good Friday emotions, and find gratitude and hope through your tears. Because your grief and your needs matter too. May this Holy Week be a gift to remind you that you are not alone.