Job’s story, revisited

The Complaint

Deborah Beach Giordano
© September 17, 2010

So… here we are again, God;
You and me,
and once again
I’ve got a bone to pick
with You.

The older I get
the more I admire Job,
who pulled up his socks,
faced his fears,
and lodged a complaint
against You.

Though I can’t say
I was all that thrilled
with the response –
You, o Holy One,
in that dusty old stereotype
straight from Central Casting:
as Charlton Heston

thundering out
a fierce pronouncement,
what we already knew:
that You
rule the universe;
the stars and the planets,
the sun and the rain,
the fish and the fowl,
every inch of our earth;
all creatures,
great and small.

Everything that is,
because of You

and You
can do
You please.

But You
didn’t have to
be cranky about it;
or bossy,
or fall back on
what for You
are nothing
but parlor tricks:
lightning bolts,
thunder clouds
and high winds.

But somehow
all that worked
for Job,
which is hard
to understand;
and I wonder:
was it what You did –
or what You didn’t do –
that answered
his demand?

His story
started off
full of treasures:
precious children,
peace and comfort,
happy times;

and when those
were gone
his sorrows
overwhelmed him
(only the heartless
could fail to sympathize):

blinded by grief,
he focused only
on what was missing;
not the goodness
he had enjoyed;

ignoring the blessings
that yet remained,
he walked away from
his long-wedded wife,
abandoned his friends,
and went off
by himself
to a mountain top

he challenged You,
the All-Powerful
and All-Knowing,
to a duel
he hoped
to lose.

Job set off
on a suicide mission,
convinced that
You’d strike him down,
condemn his impudence
and destroy his life.

Instead You
showed Yourself
to him
in his time
of greatest need;
revealing Your
grandeur and majesty,
so he knew Who
You really Are.

Not an equal,
but neither an enemy;
One who hears
and will respond;
the Giver of life
and restorer of hope
to those who dare
to pray.

And after Job prayed for his friends God restored his fortunes, giving him twice what he had before. His family and friends visited him often, sharing meals with him and comforting him for all the evils he had endured. They established a fund to help him rebuild his house, and pledged to set him on his feet again. God blessed Job’s later days even more than his beginnings.
~ Job 42:10-12

About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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