Naked I came. Naked shall I return

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:20-22 ESV)

I think that we often miss the idea of denial when we read Job's story. Job's reactions are very much entrenched in numbness. All of his children die in an instant, he loses his animals and possessions and all he can say is something that resembles something on the order of a cliché ... utterances from a very numb person. I am surprised how many of us, myself included, have used these statements as examples of correct responses to pain and suffering.

In March of 1990 my first wife Ellen had a heart attack and kidney failure at the age of 39 … after four years of declining health and hemodialysis Ellen passed away in 1994. My initial responses to my pain were very much like Job’s. Masking my inner devastation I often spoke words that were very religious … albeit empty and devoid of inner truth. Christian clichés did not help me but got in the way of dealing with my pain. Religious words never seem to help.

Cause us Lord to be people who model a vulnerability that helps people in their deepest pain.

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