Whispers and Words

god-answers-job-wm-blake

My dad died in my sleep.

2:35 AM in an upstate New York hospice; 11:35 PM in a Southern California house.

A text saying to call and two voice mails I still haven’t listened to and speaking was as a sunrise.

New but not unexpected.

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Who’s the dust in this scenario?

Remember, O Man, that thou art but
dust and to dust thou shalt return.

We’re the dust and frequently in a maelstrom.

The Latin for dust helped birth the English pulverize.

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We’re in the whirlwind but God is not always there.

Elijah one moment had witnessed some innovative earth-wind-fire-water interactions and the next he’s on the run from a tinpot loser, Jezebel. He bemoans his lot and God puts the Man in the door of his cave and God shows the Man where God is not — which includes, “a great and strong wind [that] tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks.”

Elijah stands in the entrance again and bemoans his lot again and seems altogether unmoved.

But he is not unmoved. He is uncertain but he is ready for action.

God is in the whispers and the words.

*

We’re in the whirlwind and God is sometimes there.

Near the end of Job’s ordeal — that to his family and that from his friends — God “answered [him] out of the whirlwind” and commanded, “dress for action like a Man.”

1,900 words later he has suggested the Man rethink his thinking, which Job begins to do half-way through but God isn’t done. He has more words.

To an idea earlier in the tale — “Though he slay me yet will I trust him” there are added words as well — “yet I will plead my case with him.” ESV says, “yet I will argue my ways to his face” — and Job  vindicated before his friends (and of course humbled before God) in walking this path.

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Job also worships after calamity (as does King David, even when he catalyzed the calamity by adultery). These are difficult ideas if we haven’t already wrestled a bit with the Angel, so no I can’t explain them to another. I can say them and I can live them — work ’em out, Christians say, in fear and trembling — but I can’t explain them.

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He’s in the whispers and the whirlwinds and the words that are God-to-Man and vice-versa.

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To be with my dad and speak.

To be without my dad and speak.

To be with others and Other and speak.

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As far as I’ve gotten so far in whirlwind and whisper and word.

 

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