Monday, July 18, 2005

Job's Lament

Job 7.11, 13-15, "11 I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. I must complain in my bitterness. 13 If I think, `My bed will comfort me, and I will try to forget my misery with sleep,' 14 you shatter me with dreams. You terrify me with visions. 15 I would rather die of strangulation than go on and on like this.

I am really relating to Job in this passage, these days. I should probably do a quick recap on Job's experience, before I go further. Job was a very successful man who had several children and was involved in not only big business, but also a political leader of the time, sort of like an elder statesman, from what I can gather. He tried to lead the best kind of life he could and to be the best kind of man, husband, dad, religious Jew, that he could be. And he was. He had alot of friends, too.

Then, tragedy struck. There was a day when all of his kids gathered together to party (I like to think it was someone's birthday party, but you know young people, they don't really need a reason to have a bash), at one of the kids' home. There happened to be a severe tornado that completely demolished the house and in one day, all of Job's kids died. If that's not bad enough, it gets much worse.

Soon after this tragic incident, Job's business took an enormous hit. Since we're not really in the livestock business today, it's easier to explain it in terms of a corporation. This would be like Donald Trump finding out that all of his accountants embezzled most of his money on the same day that both the stock market crashed and all of his properties were destroyed. So, in a short time span, Job became impoverished and grief-stricken. The only thing he had left in the world were his friends and his wife. When his friends saw what had happened to him, they left for various reasons, the main one being that he must be some kind of sinner (translate that into Loser), so he's getting his just desserts. Only four or five friends remained loyal to them and all of them, but one, had their doubts about Job, too, but they did stick around, so kudos.

Of course, this is a ton of stress and we all know what stress does to the body...yep, you got it, it causes health problems and boy, did Job get sick! This poor guy had boils on every inch of his body. He even had ulcers in his mouth, on his tongue (bet he lost a ton of weight). He was in constant pain and there was no remedy for it. I am certain that having the added burden of grieving over your dead children and losing every worldly possession just compounded his pain and dire, utter despair.

Everyone, of course, had advice for Job. His friends told him he should repent of his sins and God would just restore everything to him. His wife said, why don't you just curse God and die! Just give up, Job! She gets a bad wrap, I think. Anyone who lives with a spouse who's in chronic pain has had this thought cross their minds at the darkest moments, whether or not they'll admit it. I think she just wanted him to be out of pain and torment. It's exhausting to watch the person you love the very most in the world, writhing in pain all the time.

Some people condemn Job for his laments. They're self-righteous nobodies who haven't experienced real, devastating, all-encompassing pain in their lives. Because, if they did, they would, as I do, concede to Job's emotional state. I think he was doing his best to handle the situation in a healthy way. Hell, yeah, you should complain. Moan, complain, bitch, be annoyed, let out the frustration and get mad. Don't keep it inside, man, because that's just going to make the pain and sickness worse. Get it all out there and lay those cards on the table face-up.

I was saying that I can relate to that. I'm taking alot of comfort in these scriptures as bizarre as that may seem. I too am complaining and I'm going to keep complaining until two things happen: A) I get effective treatment to manage my pain; and 2) I affect people and the medical community in such a way as to change their attitudes toward people in chronic pain and especially toward migraneurs.

I, too, can't sleep, because I'm in so much pain. And when I do manage to catch a few zz's, I have nightmares about my head getting pounded on the rocks or on pavement, and corkscrews being driven through my eyes and into my brain. Dreams of blood gushing from my painfull eyes. Dreams of a vice squishing my head until it pops like a pimple and brain matter and blood squirt everywhere. Horrible, horrible nightmares. You try to sleep and it's near impossible when you're in pain.

And, I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who's said that I wish I could've died, rather than go through this. Death would be a blessed relief, compared to living in this daily torture. It's quick and it's permanent. But, notice, that neither Job, nor I, have said that we want to off ourselves. There's a difference. It's just that it's really exhausting and frustrating to have to "go on and on like this", day after long day.

It's also a comfort, and should be for anyone else out there who's wondering what they did to deserve this, that Job, who was considered to be the most righteous guy on the planet, still got a rotten deal. I don't mean that in a mean way. It's just that it's good to know that I'm not getting a raw shake, because of something bad that I've done in the past (though, I can say, I'm no saint, like Job was). It's just that stuff happens. We're not promised a prim-rose path and sunshine every day. As a matter of fact, our ONLY inalienable rights in our constitution, (and I truly believe that they should be universal rights for every person), is the right to live, to be free and to pursuit happiness. That's the bottom line, baby.

So, when life hands you lemons, my advice is to throw them back--hard!--and ask for some cherries.


At 3:21 AM, Blogger Moogle said...

Wow, Jess!

You wrote a very powerful post here. I agree 100%.

I turned to Job during the darkest phase of the migraines back in January 2002 through March 2002.

It helped me tremendously. It also helped me see that my body is not me, ie it does not define who I am. That was a revelation to me.

Hang in there! I'm praying for you and think of you all the time.


At 11:40 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for the encouragement Moogle. You're the sweetest! I'm hanin', lol. I appreciate your prayers and thoughts, I do the same for you. I was thinking on Saturday last, when I had a breif repreive in the afternoon for awhile that it was probably because you'd prayed for me--and God decided to give me a break because he likes you so much. lol Love ya, big hugs!

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