Her Faith Just Like Ours


Jul 20, 2011

In my shoes - Part 3

...Are you still holding onto your integrity, Curse God and die!

To be honest, I expected Job to strike me, maybe even kill me for the blasphemy I uttered. He has never raised his h and to me but If I had learnt anything from the years I had been his wife, it was that Job loved his God with all of his heart and absolutely nothing came before him. I never had reason to object to this Job’s love for God only made his love for me stronger; but to watch Job sitting in dust like a beggar was more than I could take, why wasn’t he angry?.

Instead of the physical reaction I expected, he slowly turned his head to me and stared at me, his hazel eyes boring into my soul as if searching for something. For a few seconds that felt like a lifetime, he just held my gaze without a word. Finally, maybe after not finding what he was looking for and all of a sudden weary, he gently sighed and said “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" And with that gentle statement, he withdrew back into himself, mute again.

Don’t think I haven’t heard the rumours?

The incorrigible sisters!

Some of you think I uttered those words because I hated Job, while others think I did it because I hated God. Oh, lets not forget those who think I said it because I was done with this marriage and according to law the only way I could get out of it was if I became a widow. Ha! Did anyone ever stop to wonder what it must have been like to be me; walk a mile in my shoes? Have you ever woken up in a nightmare that had no end? In one day I lost EVERYTHING I had. I became a poor, barren; hey, I might as well have became a widow because since all this happened, my husband has barely said a handful of words; leaving me to daily fight the sorrow in my heart without a husband to hold me up.

I am sure you heard about Job’s three friends coming by to comfort him; but did you ever hear of anyone coming to comfort me? I was alone...to bear the pain and sorrow. How quick we are to judge each other; why is it easier to tear me down than to try and understand me. I am sure I am not the only woman in this room who has uttered foolishness in haste be it from anger, pain or emotions. I am not trying to justify my sins, I just want you to see my side... to step out of your comfortable shoes and walk a day in mine.


Jul 7, 2011

My Shoes...Part 2


It was my own screaming that woke me up from a night of disturbed sleep. I didn’t remember much and the scenes of the previous day came back in broken fragments; each one ripping into my heart anew. I didn’t know why I had awoken and if I was truthful, I had wished to never see the light of day again. How could my whole life be completely demolished; all between the rising and setting of the sun? How could Job’s God whom he worshiped with all heart let this happen?

I remember when I first met Job,my family were normads who traveled around selling goat's milk and camel hide. He traded with my father a number of times and from his honest tradings, my father grew to respect him and eventually became his friend. One thing the whole town knew about Job was that he was passionate about his God. He wasn’t the God of my people but that did nothing to prevent me from falling in love with him. His passion, trust and love for his God was so infectious that my father had no problems letting me marry and live so far away from my people. My betrothal ceremony was the happiest day of my life and even though I kept my gaze down as customary; I still stole glances of Job out of the corner of my eyes.

muslim woman

“Wife of my youth”, that was his nickname for me and as he gave me a tour of his fields and property he continued “There is absolutely nothing my God cannot do. He has blessed me with EVERYTHING you see here”.

That day seemed a lifetime away; and the pleasures of those days were now replaced with anguish and sorrow. I pushed the memories away as the tears began. God had blessed Job...us...with everything I had seen that day; I now wondered why this same God had taken it away.

As I walked outside, afar off I noticed that he was still in the crumpled pile he had fallen into yesterday. He hadn’t moved and as I got closer, I noticed something was different. As I approached him, a stench I had previously dismissed as probably from a dog that must have died somewhere; got stronger. When I finally got to him, the stench was unbearable and giant flies, the same always seen hovering around corpses surrounded him. At that moment, he turned and looked at me; I screamed in horror. My husband, my tall, handsome, strong husband was now covered in raw moist boils! Each one red, oozing pus with a putrid smell; these boils must have been fiercely itchy because he had converted a broken shard of clay into a tool with which he frantically scratched himself. I watched in horror as each boil he targeted oozed pus and left behind a raw patch of bleeding skin. Not one inch of his body was spared from this ordeal


My sobs punctuating each word I spoke. For a moment which felt like a lifetime, there was silence between us.I watched him laying pitifully in a pile of dust, in the same robe he was wearing when our life as we know it came to a brutal halt; the same robe barely hanging on to his now frail fame; partly because he had torn it in two in his grief but also because he had grown so thin and frail. As I took this sight, I felt the little bit of life left in me drain away. I couldn’t even cry, there were no more tears left within me. WHAT DID I HAVE LEFT? In one day, my family’s livelihood, gone, washed away like an empty gourd left haphazardly by a river. My children, their laughter that was a constant sound in my home now faded away like an echo on a hill. My husband, all I had left... now gone, his strong embrace which had always found a way to lift my soul now replaced by a shadow of his former self. WHAT DID I HAVE LEFT??? NOTHING!!! WHAT WAS THERE TO LIVE FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! What was I still doing on this earth, in this life? There was nothing left for me and as I thought of this, a weird peace fell upon me for it had just dawned upon me what I had to do next. It was time for me to join my forefathers, time to travel to the land where I would no longer feel anymore. It was time for me to die! Yes, I wanted to die.


All of a sudden, as I thought these words, I got this feeling within me, this searing hot sensation that initially almost made me double over in pain. As this foreign sensation took my breath away, leaving me dizzy and confused I tried to decipher what was going on within me. Sadness?... no it wasn’t that...I had been living within that emotion for the last 2 days, this was different...this was rage and it welled up in me till I couldn’t take it anymore. Looking directly at Job, my curled lips curled could barely hold back the sarcasm laden questions within; and that's when I did it! That's when I looked him in the eyes and spat out...

To be continued...


Jul 2, 2011

My Shoes...

“...Just curse God and die!”

Talk about setting your future on a couple of words! This is the story of how five words not only marred my image possibly forever but also took me on a journey I did not expect.
Listen, I know you might not want to hear what I have to say but I DO have a story. I know the picture my infamous words painted of me were ugly but for one minute... just a sec.... take off your comfortable, judgmental shoes and slip on mine.

The day that changed my life forever started as a normal day; laughter waffling through our compounds as my children prepared for the day. Today was a special day; my eldest son was throwing a huge feast for his siblings and although my husband Job had innumerable servants, I was never one to leave anything to do with my children in their hands. I love being a helpmeet to my husband; I truly do, but there was just something extra special about being a mother. The God of my husband had blessed me with 10 beautiful children; 7 boys who were my joy and 3 beautiful girls who were my laughter. Rather than spend my mornings tending our sheep, camels and thousands of other animals, my husband’s wealth provided servants and allowed me to spend my days with my children.

My Children...My greatest joy.

With my children all prepared and off to the feast, a certain quiet descended on the compound. It was a sweet silence and I immediately released a breath of relief. With them gone, I could finally take a step back and relax. I was going to nap for a while and then go see what Job was up too. After I was rested and preparing lunch, I saw man on a horse, visibly in a hurry rush into our compound and in a blink of an eye my life changed.

... “a messenger arrived at Job's home with this news: "Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you." While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you." While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: "Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you." While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother's home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."


I was numb! It had to be a cruel joke; my daughters, beautiful and graceful were dead? On my hands, I could still smell the olive oil I had brushed into their hair and the shea butter I has smoothed onto their feet. No, this couldn’t be happening! My sons, tall and brave; spitting images of their father...dead? No! I could not...would not... believe this. I waited for Job’s reaction; actually picked up a rock with the hope that as Job slapped this servant for his cruel joke, I would stone him simultaneously for his outrageous boldness. It was when I saw my husband stand up with a wild almost feral scream of grief, ripping his robe in shreds that I felt it and knew in my heart that it was true. In one day, my life evaporated. As the grief rocked me, the last thing I remember seeing before slipping into the merciful darkness of unconsciousness was my husband’s head covered in blood as he used a jagged piece of a gourd he just smashed to shave his hair off.

To be continued...