Fathom Mag

Letter from the Editor

Issue No. 10: Lament

Published on:
June 14, 2017
Read time:
3 min.
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When we came up with the theme of for this issue, I had previously come to the conclusion that lament was a lost art. I felt that Christians had forgotten how to do it well anymore—if at all. Social media only decried the situation; and me, being the luddite that I am, would see scores of people lamenting via Twitter or Facebook and would have a hard time believing that it was a legitimate avenue to lament. Louis C. K. only confirmed my suspicions. Humans had forgotten how to mourn.

Then as we started to get the pieces for this issue, my hope in humanity ebbed back into my veins. For example, in one of our featured pieces for this issue, Jed Ostoich writes about how lament requires sacrifice. Lament is more than just saying, “I’ll be praying for you,” and giving them a casserole. It necessitates time. It means entering into others’ pain and being present with them in their pain. It’s about mourning with those who mourn.

Our other feature, “Indebted to Sadness,” also gave me hope because D. L. Mayfield writes about how her sadness made her a better missional Christian and helped her grow deeper in her relationships with others. If you are struggling with depression or sadness, it is well worth a read. Both our featured pieces this issue are written by two of my favorite Christian writers alive today. Read them!

On top of having a featured artist in Paul Luikhart—who also supplied us with a short story to publish as well, which is one of the best short stories we’ve run thus far—we also have the privilege of having a featured poet this issue, Rachel Joy Watson. Her poetry knifed me. And it is perfect for this theme of Lament. We are going to publish five of her poems over the course of the next two weeks, so be ready for that (we couldn’t publish all five at once because there would be too many tears).

There are also pieces on growing numb to the news, mourning in the face of miscarriages, the Manchester bombing and learning to lament, and two personal stories of one man who struggled with cancer and another who lost a best friend to cancer.

We’re pleased to publish some great poetry along with Rachel Joy Watson’s in this issue. The poetry we are getting just gets better and better by the month. We have a poem by Mary DeMuth called “Two Thieves,” another by Guy Delcambre called “I was only a flower, after all,” and another by Toshima Cook called “Whole.” The poetry this issue is good. Very good.

On top of all these we also have a smorgasbord of other wonderfully written pieces. We have a piece on children’s ministry, Chance the Rapper, lamenting the single life, a new film on Martin Luther, and a profile of the brilliant professor, Dr. Lanier Burns

If you, like I did before we put this issue together, think that humanity has lost its ability to lament, read this issue. It will make you hope again. I had to learn that the through this issue. 

I’m also learning how it’s very easy to say “amazing” 400 times in a Letter from the Editor. But in all honesty, this issue is truly amazing. I hope you enjoy.

Jonathan Minnema
Jonathan is the video producer for Fathom Magazine. You can reach him at jon@fathommag.com and @jonminnema.

Cover image by Tom Eversley.

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