- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 7 months ago by Miss Mary.
May 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm #2385Madame SidlerKeymaster
A few weeks ago we read a chapter of North! Or Be Eaten called “O Anyara!,” and in it Oskar shows Janner a bit of the First Book which he’s been working on translating. It’s a song—a sad song about the First Kingdom falling. Earlier that same week Mr. Reteep came back from a book-hunting trip and showed me a very, very old tome he’d found called Lamentations, supposedly written by some long-dead poet named Jeremiah Hilkiahson. It was also a sad song about the fall of a kingdom.
This makes me think. Sometimes we hear that if the Maker is good and we trust Him, we should be happy all the time. But sometimes terrible things happen in the world, things like earthquakes or riots or nameless evil. Sometimes we lose friends, or someone we trust hurts us, or something we value is lost or stolen. How do we deal with that? Is it okay to talk about it? To complain about it? How?
May 20, 2015 at 11:43 pm #2387Miss LindaGuest
It is interesting that you bring this up today. Last night I watched (courtesy of that wonderful invention “youtube”) Michael Card teaching a class somewhere about lament. Watching that confirmed what I already suspected, which is that I know practically nothing about the right use of lament.
In an abstract way, I know it must be ok to talk about the painful and confusing things, at least in some way. Some people even claim it is helpful. But I suspect there are probably right and wrong ways to do it, or ways that are helpful, honest, and faithful (faith filled?), and ways that can be destructive both to us and the people we may speak to. Israel’s complaining in the desert, for example, was clearly not ok. Yet Jeremiah lamented and so did several Psalmists, and it seems that God approved of it.
Practically speaking, I have mostly avoided any public “lamenting” and kept my complaints between me and God. He is more forgiving and understanding than other people are, and the last thing I need when I’m struggling is someone to take issue with my theology or tell me why I shouldn’t feel the things I do. Not everyone responds that way, of course. But my experience has led me to be cautious.
I don’t have any real answers to this, but I find the question intriguing and hope other people have thoughts about it.
September 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm #3689Miss LindaGuest
I wish I knew more about this. I’m bumping the thread in the hope that someone else will have something to say about it.
When is it ok to lament? Is lament the same thing as complaining, or is it something different? Does a cry of pain or sadness conflict with trusting the Maker, or can they go together? And is there a place for sharing these things with other people, or are they really struggles that have to be faced alone?
Anybody have ideas, or stories of your experiences?
September 30, 2015 at 11:04 am #3698ArodethGuest
My thoughts on this are: I’ve always thought of lamenting as a kind of mourning. Mourning usually isn’t considered complaining, unless you’re selfishly mourning something, so the same would go for lamenting, right?
As in, if I were lamenting, say, the death of a friend, that wouldn’t be complaining because they had died. If I were lamenting the loss of a personal item, I would be tempted to call it complaining, as I would be selfishly making a big deal about it.
In fact, using my definition, I would go as far as to say that a lot of the Psalms are laments.
As to whether or not these are things we should share with people or face alone, I think it depends on the situation. I can say, though, that you should always have someone to confide in and ask for help from. Whether it should be a physical person, a friend or family member, or God, depends on the situation.
These are my thoughts on this matter. I’d love to hear what other people have to say.
October 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm #3800Miss MaryGuest
Hmm, Lament vs. Complaint. That is a hard question. I do think there is a difference, though I can’t say I have studied this with any depth at all, nor have I listened to internet things on it. Lament seems to me to be more of a pure cry of grief or pain, while complaint has an element of “you need to be doing something to fix this” to it. We don’t ask where we can register our laments at the local better business bureau, but they definitely take complaints.
God gets a lot of both laments and complaints. I know from experience that He is patient with both, but when I am telling Him (either directly or by implication) that He did something wrong or badly, He tends to point that attitude back out to me. I then have to decide if I am willing to trust Him or not that He is good, and has not lost control of the situation, though it is still just as painful and sorrowfilled in the present as ever.
At least that is the distinction I see, but when I am in it, it is really easy to lose that line, because I don’t see the bigger picture much at all.
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