“The words of Job are ended.” (31:40)
Life amiss, off-kilter, teetering. Very much so. So much so. Tragically so. Even with Job’s best intentions for a righteous, safe life. Crossing all his T’s. Dotting each one of his I’s. Smoothing life’s sharp edges. The ones ready to cut, maim, and hurt. Job asks “Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity?” (31: 3)
More questions. To God. Friends. Again and again. Searching. Queries unrelenting like pain’s throbs. Entreating others sixteen times. Each time willing to bear possible repercussions if found unjust.
“If I walked with falsehood…” (31:5)
“If my heart has been enticed…” (31:9)
“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired…” (31:16)
“If I have raised my hand against the orphan…” (31:21)
“If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great…” (31:25)
“If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hate me…” (31:29)
“If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together…let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley.” (31:38,40)
Resolve mounts with each oath. Pulsing through Job’s veins. Others’ theories almost capturing innocent soul into falsehood’s net. Job’s inner goodness never leaving. Integrity present, whole, complete, intact. Pledge to God, made long ago, endures. Job remains the “blameless and upright man who…turns away from evil.” (1:8b)
Air falls silent. Friends’ babbling halts. What can they say? “…These three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.” (32:1)
Healing Activity: Litany’s List
Writing a list of things we wished we did differently before, during, after our traumas pulls. Guilt’s evils perpetuating skewed thinking. Like Job’s friends. As if we hold exhaustive liability for our traumas. Full accountability laid at entrance of inner ashes. Onus cloaking us when we are blameless like Job.
Some traumas catch us in dysfunction’s sticky web. Hold us in continuous, adhesive loop of confusion. Despite who we once were before brought low by others’ unhealed crap. We thrash at both solid and invisible walls until something within rends, allowing escape.
But evil haunts. Tailing us in continuous coil of spinning thoughts. Cemented words releasing others’ involvement. Demanding we take entire burden on like a caught perpetrator.
There’s another litany worth writing. List asking what we did and do well. Each petition beginning with the small yet powerful word “I.” Not if you could have, should have done something differently. But what you did well. From my own trauma recovery litany I share,
I listened to my gut.
I walked toward.
I called out for help.
I didn’t always answer the doorbell.
I listened to Pastor Peter’s advice.
I went to therapy every week, sometimes twice.
I made home a safe space.
I kept trying to love.
I unpacked my own strength from deep within, like Job.
I forgave myself.
God, your creation is wild. Remind me I cannot control every minute of my world. Keeping vigil over life, wasted energy. Guarding my every move and moves of others, little use. God, magnify your hearing. Listen to my woes. Answer my questionings with calm and alleviating actions. Restore my trust in you and in myself. Turn me toward healing instead of commanding myself, others, and your creation. Amen.
~This healing meditation is created to accompany trauma recovery along side working with a state licensed, certified trauma mental health professional and should not take the place of clinical healing.
~~Please form this healing activity to fit your needs. And please share with me your creative ways of refining the experience for yourself.
~~~Scriptural quotes, NRSV
~~~~First photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash. Suffering man sculpture was in Tony’s, office. My late husband kept a small collection of similar pieces as reminders of trauma’s pain he bore witness to daily. Tree of Life image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.