I didn't set out to write a book about lamenting. I mentioned the lament in a small section of one chapter in my first draft and by the time the last draft was completed it had taken over half the book!

I'm still surprised.

I was simply looking for a way to express forgiveness as a journey. My own introduction to forgiving others had happened in a living room surrounded by close friends. Only after I had told my story and wept, did anyone suggest I forgave anyone.

You see, jumping straight to forgiveness rarely works, for how can we forgive fully if we do not connect first with the depth of how we've been hurt?

Every change—unexpected or expected, positive or negative—contains loss and requires an acknowledgment of sorrow and an acceptance of new circumstances. This is grief. But to me, at least, we need something beyond grief in our response to disloyalty, betrayal, or abuse.

Enter the lament. It transforms our grief into a protest against the undeserved, unfair, and unjust nature of how another has mistreated us. The addition of complaint to our mourning and story-telling sets us up well to begin forgiving.

ForgivenessSteve Hall