Hitbodedut (הִתבּוֹדְדוּת)

Lamentations 2:19 - “…Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord…”

It’s fascinating that in the Book of Lamentations, God tells us to “Pour out your hearts like water.”

I’ve met many people who hold back on God. The biggest culprit is the man in the mirror.

I mean, telling God everything, even that I’m upset that some bird pooped on my car when I just had it washed and that bothers me…I mean really, tell that to God.

If you practice Hitbodedut, then yes. Pronounced hit-bow-dih-DOOT, this Hebrew

word literally means "seclusion" and refers to a practice in which a person pours out their heart to God.

You can read more about it here Article on Hitbodedut .

To practice one simply needs to go off by themselves and begin to vocalize to God what is on their heart.

The key is the vocalization. Yelling it out. Shouting it out. Whispering it out.

Unbeknownst to me I have been encouraging young people to practice Hitbodedut.

It's normally in the context of a class session and one of the teens pulls out the "That's fine and good but I'm ticked off at God so I'm gonna say I don't believe in Him" card.

“Yeah but Coach D, what happens if you don’t believe in God?”

A typical question I get. And so I tell them.

“Go tell Jesus that you don’t believe in Him. Go tell him that you are angry, doubtful, scared, whatever you are feeling. You go tell Him all of that stuff. You keep telling Him until all that comes out of you. Then when all that comes out, you got to sit and listen to how much He loves you.”

What I didn’t know was that I was encouraging them to do what Lamentations 2:19 said to do. “Pour your heart out like water before the presence of the Lord.”

I do it all the time. I talk to God all the time, out loud, in the shower mostly. But I talk. I yelled at God, I cussed while talking to God. (Sometimes I think God is a U.S. Marine).

Nevertheless, I talk.

The Jewish faith has a word for this.

Unlike Meditation, this is pure vocalizing. Speaking your heart out into existence.

It’s getting out of your own head, and putting the words out there. And it’s taking what’s in your heart and pouring it all out.

I remember shortly after my separation, and surgery, all within a couple of months of each other… I would walk. I would walk and talk out loud to God. I must have seemed like a nut job to fellow walkers who heard me mumbling… but the times I was alone, I would vocalize the pain, the questioning , the hurt, the confusion the doubt. Day after day. I’d vocalize and ask God to help make sense of all this for me. Why?

Why was she wanting this? Why do I have to suffer this when all I want is for my family to be together? Why?

The answers didn’t come all at once. But the pouring out of the heart not only brought me closer to God, it helped me as well.

There is therapy in getting it all out. There is healing in pouring out your heart to God.

God wants you to pour your heart out for your sake. So trust in that. If you've never tried it, then go for it.

By the way, there's a great scene in musical: Fiddler on the Roof - Tevia is talking to God.

Check it out - it's pure Lamentations in action -

So go ahead and try it. Maybe incorporate this as a new prayer practice. And then let me know what you think.


©2020 by Kick in the Faith.