The Storms have spent their fury- the thunderstorm is over- Job has been censured before the face of humankind- the Lord and Job have come to an understanding… Job is blessed and has received everything double. -This is called a repetition.
I can’t tell you where I am, but I I’ve made it to a city. It’s on the west coast, a little salty, a little sunny, is where I am residing. I’ve passed Big Sur if that means anything to you, I know it won’t. You’ll probably be sitting there, reading this, laughing I called you Sir. Believe what you will, I am no match for you now. No, not now. Because as I write this I imagine you’re on a donkey, the donkey of sounds, squelching and ponying every desire of yours. While I, on the other hand, sit with fading desires. Discolored desires.
Sickened, now, in desire. Either my desires have poked outward, in so many ways, like an urchins defense or they have turned against their source. Desire has turned fatal, desire I know not what…
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Desires- please don’t tell me to stop saying it, are so hard. They callous, hard flesh, they say what they don’t. It is one thing, we are all familiar with, to desire something we shouldn’t. We have all desired that crumb of chocolate, I’m sure you’ll remember that one we had on the road to Ephesus… all this fits under the umbrella of desiring what we cannot have. Though, in most cases, we find out ways to have. Ha, Barnabas!
Again, let us consider Job, though. Surely, he desired something. Paul, feel my hand tremble. There must have been something Job desired but could not have. What was it? Was it a house? A family? Friends? Perhaps, wealth? Paul, if you were to say yes to any of these things, I would cry. I would be saddened that our nightly talks, our soliloquies meant nothing to you. That our breath had no tinge of mint… that the moisture of our tongues dried too soon.
What Job desired, and could not have, was God. Think of it! He must have desired the one earthly thing, anything, could desire. To see Jesus. That he would find the meaning, purpose, end to his maelstrom. The answer, the eternal narrative, would have unraveled with Jesus. An answer is all he needed, but Job never got the answer, and so the letter seemed sealed and set in the rain.
… For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate
So you have said to me. And Job? My eternal question to you (we will chuckle about this in heaven) was your longing to see God, to receive the explanation of your plight, the very thing you hated? Paul, please don’t drop the letter. Pick it up, let’s talk. Paul, pick up your leg, your toes. You saw this coming, you knew Job was more than we thought, perhaps for once, we have found the rawness. The circular twitch in his nose, why Job will always sift like water through your hand.
The question is simple, if I had to put my question differently, to you Paul. How much different is it to think about desiring something you cannot have, if that something you cannot have is good? We already agreed, it is simple to say you cannot have what is bad. But there is nothing stopping the reverse from being true… too much of a good thing can kill. And so, to do the very thing you hate, that is just your experience, no?
There it is, that is why I wrote this letter. It was for that last sentence. Job! You character of color, of angels, of demons. How you express the ineffable feeling in my dry eyes. That there might be in you the birth, the birth of the notion, that there is always a little ugly in the beautiful. So that it makes sense that you move to what you hate, so that you move to what you think is beautiful, are the same.
It takes Job to see the beautiful, but we only understand Job by seeing him move toward the ugly… We are on the invisible border between eternity, Job straddles, then winks. Paul, I have only seen this because I have seen you. Seen you lowered in baskets like a child, in tears, in tears of agony.
I have nowhere to put this thought, it does not fit anything. It feels as if it does not fit in this body.
Keeping the lid tight,
~Your beloved one