An Interpretation of Job 13, Revised Julia Version:
Look, I have heard everything you are telling me, “friends”,
And your words aren’t new to me.
I have the same information that you do;
And, frankly, you’re not offering different or better interpretation.
I want to speak directly to the Almighty and take up this injustice in that conversation.
Y’all… you are looking at my situation and
Basically talking out of your rear ends. You’ve got nothing.
If you were just quiet, just grieved with me, that would actually a true help,
Not whatever it is you’re doing now.
Listen real carefully to me now:Is it better to be quiet or
To speak about God and turn out to have lied?
Unless you are defending the Divine by speaking about Holy Prerogative
And Holy Mystery and our own smallness and trust in Holy Grace, it is better to hush up.
Do you think God is going to own everything you’ve decided is true about the Holy,
When you try to make the Divine in your own image?
God is going to correct you, quite sharply,
If you continue to speak for the Divine without waiting for the Spirit and just relying on your own understanding.
Aren’t you a little scared of that? Doesn’t God’s awe-fullness cause you to quake?
Your quick words of “comfort” are trash.
Your false piety is fit for the compost pile.
If anyone is to confront God and speak directly,
Let it be the one who has actually suffered.
In this case, that’s me. I’ll speak directly to God,
What more can go wrong than already has?
I want answers and I will demand them, but not from you.
And, look, if God decides to kill me for my impertinence, so be it.
I still have greater faith in God’s way than in the quick falseness of people.
God knows my heart, seeing beyond my grief,
To the trust I have that the Eternal One works justice.
So, listen to me, “friends”,
I know what I am doing, even in the midst of my life chaos.
I’ve thought about what I will say to God,
And that’s between God and me.
There is no one who is truly going to intercede for me from you lot,
That’s what I’ve learned from your platitudes and cross-stitched maxims.
Holy One, I am coming to you directly and I am asking for two things,
And I’m going to do my best to stand strong in the face of your answers.
Pull back, God, from whatever it is that you are causing to happen to me,
It is too much for me to bear and I am growing fearful of you in a way that does not and will not produce love.
Then, O God, then I humbly ask you to reveal yourself to me,
And, admittedly terrified, I will open my eyes to see what you show.
Or, conversely, hear me out and then provide clear answers to me in a way I can comprehend.
It’s your choice, O God. It always is.
I don’t think I’ve been perfect, but I have been doing my best.
Since perfection hasn’t been possible, can you just show me where I’ve screwed up?
I hope it’s not a long list, but it may well be.
What I cannot handle is your silence.
I thought we were in a relationship and now it feels as though I have been Divinely ghosted.
And I do not mean Holy Ghost. I mean, where have you gone?!?
I’m already struggling, God, and you can see how my “friends” are “helping”.
Are you going to pile on by denying me tangible signs of your presence?
Because that feels harsh. If I’ve earned this kind of punishment, so be it,
But please tell me. Right now, I’m racking my brain and coming up empty.
I feel hobbled in my vocations, in my prayers, in my efforts to just live.
I worry about additional spiritual ambushes.
It’s hard to walk faithfully in this situation.
I know that “may the Lord bless and keep” means that
It is entirely possible that the Lord may not.
But right now, I feel like I am wilting produce in your holy fridge,
And that’s a waste for both of us.
Here my prayer, O God,
And in your mercy, answer me.
The Reverend Julia Seymour serves Big Timber Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Big Timber, MT. She blogs at lutheranjulia.blogspot.com and readsallthethings.com. She contributed to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit and is President of the board of RevGalBlogPals, Inc.
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