Job’s Friends

I am studying Job these days. Carol says it may not be the best time of my life for a deep reading of Job, but it suits me fine.

I am fascinated by the friends of Job. When disaster strikes their friend, they gather to comfort him, but first they sit (shiva?) in silence with him for a solid week.

Then they begin their “comfort”.

I hate to say it out loud, but they remind me quite a lot of many friends and acquaintances who try to comfort me in my situation. They mean well, and they don’t intend to hurt me or Carol, but, inadvertently they often cause an additional pain on top of those we already experience.

Please allow me to give one pro tip: telling a sick person that God has a purpose in their sickness is one of the worst things you could possibly say.

The main message I see so far in my study of Job is that the well-worn ideas of retribution (good people mostly experience a good life and vice versa) are all wet, soaked to the bone.

Good people get hurt all the time. And bad people end up in roses all the time. Might as well get used to it.

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