Reflections from the Ash Heap
"In the thought of one who is at ease
There is contempt for misfortune."
These are the words of Job after his three friends have chastised him for not being more respectful toward God. Job says more than once, he wishes his friends would be quiet because they are not saying anything he hasn't already heard and because they are not very good at offering comfort.
I don't much like these words of Job, partly because I know that I have been guilty of this. What is it about suffering that drives some to contemptuous thoughts? Is it fear? Is it pride? And if so, what motivates them?
Am I afraid that if I notice someone's suffering then I will know it can happen to me?
Do I think that the one who suffers has lesser value than I?
How is it that sometimes we measure ourselves according to the level of our success or non-success?
How is it that millions of people throughout the world suffer daily and somehow we overlook, ignore, avoid, or disdain them?
And what about God?
Where is God in it all?
How is it that millions of people suffer and God is silent?
I appreciate Job's honesty:
"Though God slay me, I will still hope;
yet I will argue my ways to his face."