Summary: First person pulpit drama, with "Job" responding to Elihu’s counsel and God’s probing. Designed to lead worshippers to the Communion Table as a sign of God’s understanding of human suffering.
Do you hear? Do you see? The wind, the wind, the whirlwind?! Do you feel it? Is its hot breath on you as it is on me? The whirlwind, the whirlwind! I can scarcely stand up, it is so strong! Are you not blown away with these winds? Are you not devastated?
No. No. I suppose not. Few there are who have suffered what I have suffered. Not many have ever been through all that has plagued me. No, I suppose you have not been through every stormy wind that blows, nor have you been borne down by such a swelling tide of woes. You look too prosperous. You look well. You look as I used to look.
But, oh, my God, the whirlwind of destruction that has torn me apart! Great God, why? I still do not see it. I cannot perceive it. Why? Why me? Why now?
If only I could go back and have what I once had. If only I could call back into life things that once were and now are not. If only I could hold my children, one more time.
If only I could address the mighty Maker of this world to His face, surely He would answer me. If only I could stretch out my arm and tug at the outskirts of His garments, He would explain it to me. He would. If He can. If He is able. If He cares.
Stretch out my arm, indeed! I cannot stop scraping at my arms, nor my chest, nor my legs. I am diseased everywhere; I am in pain. I have not eaten anything but scraps of garbage for weeks, I am sick. Sick, I tell you! Sick unto death, and no one cares. No man cares for my soul. Nor God either, it would seem.
And yet surely He does. Surely God will hear my voice. Oh, if I only knew where I might find Him, then I might even come before His presence and plead my case to Him. If only I knew where He is. And if only this infernal whirlwind would stop! Stop! Stop, ye winds, cease your stirring! I am not at rest, for trouble continues to come. And I can take no more. It is all I am able to bear.
Ah! Ah! It’s a little quieter now. There is a moment of release. The mercies of God are sure; a quiet moment in which I may tell you my story. If you want to hear it .. if you will listen to the likes of Job. Others have come and have lectured me, not wanting to hear me. Do you want to hear? Are you prepared to listen?
If so, then prepare to be challenged. Prepare for anger, for I am not at ease. I am angry and troubled. Prepare for a story of immense proportions, for to no one has the Almighty been more cruel than to Job. And prepare to doubt yourselves, your God, and everything you have been taught, you well-dressed, self-satisfied, smug citizens of serenity! Prepare to hear Job’s accusations!
For, you see, I was once like you. I was once well dressed, well fed, well housed, well. Healthy. Happy. Full of life. Indeed, as I think of that whirlwind we saw a moment ago, I think of my life as once it was. I lived in a whirlwind of activity. I was busy. I tended my vast possessions, I invested carefully, I planned for every contingency, I prepared for every possibility. I was immensely busy, and loved every instant of it. I had filled each moment with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run. My life was a veritable whirlwind of good things.
Nor did I forget God, blessed be His name ... ah, there I go again. Old habits die hard. I used to bless the name of God, who had given me all these good things. I cannot bless His name right now. I cannot. Try as I might, I cannot and I will not, for He has turned His back on me, He has broken His promise to me, He has ...
No. No. I must be careful. Let no charge against God pass my lips. I must be careful.
Let me just tell you what God has done. In fact, I call you to witness what He has done, so that you may understand that Job is not lying, but is telling the truth. I call you to witness my righteousness and God’s faithlessness. For though I had worked faithfully and had lived uprightly, all my possessions began to slip away from me. Though I had provided carefully for my oxen and my camels, a marauding band of thieves stole them all, every last one of them. And as I was dealing with that problem, though I had intended my sheep as sacrifices for God’s altar, a lightning bolt struck tinder and my sheep were burned up, destroyed ... as if God could not wait for a proper Temple ritual. I was dumbstruck that day. To lose so much, all at once. I did not know how I would recover. The cattle on a thousand hills are His, says the Psalmist, so why should He take mine from my one little hill? I do not see it! I will not see it! It is not right!