Can you look into compassionless eyes and see the hollow hearts that beat within? Do you think this gives you a better understanding of life? If you can, and if it does, what did it cost you to have this insight?
Like so many other books in the Bible the inherent power of Job is its ability to strike a chord, that secret, private chord within all of us that is so rarely played. What numbing sadness hangs over the orphan, widow, homeless when they remember those who don’t remember … them? Did Job think about the consolation no one offered, despite his previous acts of kindness? The text seems to indicate that although wealthy, Job was very generous. Where are the grateful townsfolk who rescued Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life? To be sure, these people do exist, but a whole town?
Were Job’s so called friends invited? Did they hear stories of his ruin and simply have to see for themselves? Inevitably traffic slows on the 99 when there has been an accident. What is it people long to see; mangled cars, blood, body parts?
Where does the responsibility lie for the continual bombardment of depressing six o’clock news? Does the Media merely give its audience what the audience wants? Have you ever wondered if the Media merely reflects us? Do we complain about the things we continue to spend our money on? Is the so-called silent majority just another myth, like the one about America being a Christian nation?
And Job’s friends, does their treatment of Job indicate a previous jealousy? Are we jealous of those who have or do what we secretly want? Do we take some unspoken delight when the so-called special ones fall?
What does it take to maneuver us to a place where we are ready to listen? How do we get the splinters out of our eyes so we can see? If we refuse to get involved, vote with our pocketbook as well as our ballot, then shouldn’t we just shut up?
I’ve read Job many times, but now I find myself seeing the message of Job reflected not only in national and global politics, people I once knew who only wave in passing, but also in the purblind angels of the church.
Job has become harsh and biting as I see it played out again and again in the lives of those who live on the edge, as well as the dwindling folks who sway back and forth in the middle. I understand the message of Job is primarily concerned with trusting God and knowing that God’s ways are beyond our comprehension. Then of course there is that question of evil, but as I listen to Job’s friends and the six o’clock News, I wonder if evil, like the Media, merely reflects us. Maybe, just maybe, instead of identifying with Job and crying woe is me, we should see ourselves as Job’s friends.