Most of us have heard the story of Job; a man who completely lost everything; a man we can all relate to on some level. Most of us have not experienced the tremendous amount of loss that Job had to endure and most of us can certainly not say that we are upright and blameless in the sight of the Lord. However; we all can relate to loss and pain on a very deep level. We all can learn a lesson on how to deal with that loss and pain from the story of Job. But, I’m not talking about repentance, although that is of utmost importance, and I’m not talking about friendship or even Job’s rebuke. I’m talking about grief and sorrow and the proper way to mourn.
What if the story of Job took place today. In the modern day story of Job would any one of us stop and cry out to the Lord? Not just in a brief passing moment but in every moment of every day for days on end? Would a modern day Job tear his or her clothes and put on sack cloth? Would we shave our heads or lie on the ground weeping? Probably not.
In today’s society we are expected to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off; hold our heads high. Despite the pain we are going through, life goes on and responsibilities continue. Even if you wanted to, you certainly couldn’t take more than a day or two off work; who after all is going to pay your bills? If you have children, you surely can’t stop caring for their needs.
Oh, and about grief and mourning; there’s not only no time for that but; no one wants to see it. Instead, we put on our Sunday best, choose the waterproof mascara and silently sneak out of the back pew and into the bathroom if we think we might shed a tear.
The town gossips don’t criticize us because no one is the wiser of our situation. Our friends don’t ask what we did to deserve this because they still think our lives are the picture of perfection. Perhaps we even fool our families and ourselves.
How many of us walk around pretending that things are okay or even good. How many of us force a great big smile when inside we are carrying an unbearable amount of pain?
Imagine placing a bandage over a weeping, infected wound. While no bleeding may occur, the infection spreads rapidly, causing all types of damage and havoc in our bodies. Consequently the wound never heals and instead spreads to other area of the body.
An emotional wound needs to breathe in much the same way as a physical wound. Exposure allows the wound to be cleaned and to begin healing. An emotional wound that is not allowed to breathe will fester and destroy not only the person that was wounded but all of those in close proximity as well. Take it from someone who knows; anything other than open, honest communication about your feelings ends up becoming nothing short of a disaster spewing over into the lives of anyone and everyone you love.
No, I am not suggesting you take off more time from work than you can afford or shave off your flowing golden locks. Instead what I am suggesting is crying out to God each and every moment of each and every day. I am suggesting that you be honest with others about what is going on and more importantly how you feel. I am suggesting getting down on your knees and yes maybe even lying face first on the ground before the Lord. I am suggesting reaching out for help. I am suggesting acknowledgement that nothing can or will be accomplished on your own rather; only after we seek God’s abounding love, mercy and grace. I am suggesting we take time out and let ourselves bleed in order that we might heal!