The five poems of Lamentations respond to a catastrophe in Judah. Written in third- and first-person voices, the book both acknowledges the present as the consequence of past disobedience and challenges the adequacy of that acknowledgement to account for the current suffering. God has judged; human enemies have attacked. But the extent and relentlessness of the suffering are unbearable. Theological claims about God's mercy and justice are not operating in life as it is currently experienced by the speakers. The content pleads for God to look, see, and act. The book consists of prayers of sufferers, not theology about suffering.