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.
“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...