I wish I knew the source of his sorrow.
Three of us there, I think of the differences now.
Me, an executive type pretend director wishing to stay home and paint, an interesting stranger and a preacher who is for real, he emanates peace, attentive love.
It began with two, myself and the young pastor.
I call and called him friend.
Breakfast outside that began with open discussion of things I’m struggling with and most of them made worse by the deeply buried truths hammered in angrily to the soul of a little girl who’d follow any command just for the chance to be loved, to be beloved.
We were in agreement. Oh, the peace of that, to be in agreement with a man of God, a preacher.
To be validated in your understanding of God, to be assured, yes, this is the God you are seeing, this is the Jesus you know.
“’Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
Job 42:3 ESV
We must’ve been a half hour in. The sun on my back no longer pleasant and I am hot.
Miserable, faking being okay.
For a minute I try to pretend, try to stay composed in my wrought iron seat on the sidewalk sauna.
I shift my chair to the shade and cover my omelette and my grits with a napkin to keep my eyes from darting with the flight of one annoying fly.
He continues with his toast, unconcerned over the fly and simply smiled as I shifted in my seat.
“Is my forehead glistening?”, I wonder. He doesn’t seem hot at all. How is he so chill?
I promise I sensed God’s spirit in his voice, most of all in his listening.
My friend and I continued. I told him I’d just finished the Book of Job and that I was moved in different ways than before.
The words barely uttered and a man hurried past us then turned to ask,
“Did I hear you say Job?”
We welcomed him in.
It was a God thing for sure. My pastor friend listened as I confirmed we were discussing Job.
The tall man who must’ve just left the bank because of the three different wallets he held tight, clutched in his palm.
He hesitated walked away and then returned, his body bounced and then settled and then shifted weight one side to the other.
Job confounded Him, it was clear.
What God allowed to happen to Job bothered him significantly, the fact that God took Job’s children and that God allowed it, actually handed them along with Job over to Satan.
It was clear this troubled this man, standing before us on a small town sidewalk, his face scruffy with stubble and his muscle tank on backwards, his shorts, a faded blue tropical pattern, old sandals and he was bothered by the weather as was I.
Which was good, it wasn’t just me.
He began to sweat as he spoke, elaborating further and my friend kept his cool, listening even when I added in too much information as I often do.
Telling them both I love the last chapter because Job forgives his friends, shows the ones who turned against him mercy and then God gifts Job with more years better than the ones before.
Two things for me there. It is right to let the ones who left you hanging off the hook.
It is thrilling to know your now and your future can be phenomenally better than your before.
Both men smiled and the tall man shuffled his feet telling us he’s sure Job’s in heaven with his family and friends.
He believes Job, his friends and his family were “grandfathered in”.
He’s still not sure why God had to let it happen this way.
We agree. We aren’t either.
And my pastor friend essentially said we don’t know and that maybe we forget how small our time is here in comparison to heaven.
And if we remembered heaven, well, we might not so angrily and aggressively need to understand now.
That we might finally know what Job meant when he realized there are things too wonderful to know.
Last night, I reread the last chapter and I paused at one place, the place that tells me my bad days are over, my better has only begun.
I began to cry.
“And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.”
Job 42:12 ESV
For now it is so very wonderful to know my past does not define my future and wonderful to know that God is in agreement with my forgiveness of those I felt should have done more. My prayer, to forgive them.
“…and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.”
Job 42:9 ESV
Wonderful to know the little that I know.
I thought today how I wish I knew more of his story, the stranger and his sorrow causing his questioning of God in relation to Job.
So many things, my pastor friend, the tall guy and I, God has much yet to be shown us, so many things we do not know.
Tonight, the sky said hello gradually with the popping out of bright stars.
The dark clouds buffeted the horizon and the space up above was clear.
I snapped a shot driving home, so blurry, because of my dirty windshield.
Then I thought of heaven vs. earth.
We’re a mess down here below, it’s impossible to capture heaven on the other side of the sky.
It’s just way too wonderful to see, too wonderful to know.
And too significantly difficult to comprehend.
A family has lost a son tonight, a grief incomprehensible.
Many are the sorrows we may know or not know.
I wonder why Job called them “wonderful” and realize it is not for me to know.
Too Wonderful for any of us to know.