The title of this post is not original – is taken from the name of a book by R. B. Zuck that I read as part of my exegesis subject on Job last semester. However, I like it, and it captures the essence of this series of posts that I intend to put up on Sundays. I say intend, for life has a way of intruding on the best of intentions. This series of posts are about my experience of the book of Job – my interpretation of aspects of the story, and a corresponding personal reflection. Here’s part 1:
Job, the greatest man in the land, now greatest only in his affliction. Job. To be remembered as the man stricken and laid bare by the hand of God. Imagining myself there, I am sickened by the sight of him. I avert my eyes, and walk widely around him. My respectful refrain from staring merely masks my gnawing discomfort. Repulsion mingles with curiosity, and compassion. I am astounded by his friends. Seven sorrowing days of silence broken only by weeping. Grieved beyond the comfort of words, Job draws solace from three who are moved beyond speech. Friends willing to simply be. In dust and ashes, tears and silence, they sit. Surely there could have been no greater evidence of their love for Job than this.
How easy it is to avoid those who hurt because of my own discomfort. Sometimes when I am confronted by pain in others, I am torn between wanting to say something and not really knowing what to say. God, help me to sit with those who hurt, and to know when to be silent. Soften my heart. May it be broken by the things that break Yours.
UPDATE: I have been posting more detailed analyses on the book of Job – you can read additional articles on the prologue, Job’s losses, the response of Job’s wife, Job’s seven days of silence, and Job’s first speech.