What's Your Battle Cry?
I’ve watched several videos recently of New Zealanders performing a traditional haka out of respect to the more than fifty victims of the mosque shootings. These emotional outpourings that match chants with assertive movements and stomps, express raw emotions and pay tribute to their heritage. YouTube is filled with videos of groups from students to biker clubs performing hakas out of respect for the victims.
From The Guardian webpage, here is footage from one student group:
I’ve watched this footage over and over and I question whether I could ever share such raw emotion. And so publicly.
I’m frightened to guess if I’ll ever be put to task to find out.
In my pre-teen years I remember watching a documentary on death in different cultures with my dad. Each scene depicted progressively dramatic expressions of grief. Wailing, moaning and chanting were the norms in most societies. In one culture, a deceased man was paraded on the shoulders of other men, and women followed in the streets shouting and howling. As a young American, I couldn’t remember seeing or hearing such a dramatic site.
The documentary cut across to an American funeral where men stood behind women seated in their finest black attire and sniffling into dainty white hankies.
I turned to my dad and asked with disdain why everyone else made so much noise when they mourned. I appropriately felt ashamed of my question when he simply responded, “Maybe they’ve got it right. Maybe we ought to be.”
There are dozens of examples in the Bible of mourning and grieving. Jesus grieved and the Holy Spirit is grieved. People mourned all day and bowed down greatly (NKJV, Psalm 38:6), they lamented, mourned and wept (NKJV,James 4:9).
The Jewish people tore their clothes and covered themselves in ashes.
King David danced and sang in the streets half naked until his wife chastised him and told him he was making a fool of himself.
Jesus overturned tables to send a message of holiness and obedience in His father’s house.
It’s healthy, fellow introverts, to show emotions. It’s righteous, introverted believers, to give those emotions over to God.
1 Peter 5:6-7, 10 says, “ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you… But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
We don't have to give our emotions free reign over our actions, but we cannot be slaves to them either.
We have to engage our thoughts and emotions together, and bring them forward so we can allow God to provide us with comfort.
We seek his strength, and being led by the Holy Spirit to cry out to the Lord, His Temple is cleansed and makes room for more righteous and more holy emotions.
As Introverts, we may not choose to share our emotions quite so publicly, but we can learn from the haka, and invite God to listen to our own personal battle cry, then rest in His love, peace, and comfort.
The haka is the battle in Māori culture. What is your battle cry and how do you bring it humbly before God?
haka photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo