Job & A Rolling Stone

It’s one full week into this Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Three, and you can see by the photo below that I’m now reading the ancient Book of Job.

Nobody knows whence came this story, whether it was true life or just an allegory.

Job arose out of the mists of time, and the ancient Hebrews picked it up, maybe even wrote it, themselves, maybe even Moses, himself, whoever he is, did so, but maybe not, because the story of Job predates the five books that are historically attributed to Moses.

The Jews included Job in their collection of sacred writings, and there you have it, the oldest book in the collection of books that some call The Holy Bible.

Job is about human suffering . . . and what’s God got to do, got to do with it.

I’m reading Job while experiencing a resurgence of shingles, a mercifully light but still uncomfortable vestige of the chicken pox that I once had as a child.

I think that everyone who reads the Book of Job should have chicken pox or shingles while they read the book so as to better identify with the title character who, as you know if you’ve read Job, spends the better part of the book mourning the sudden deaths of all his children, and the loss of all his possessions, and the fact that all his wife can do is advise him to “Curse God and DIE!” whilst he is seated in a heap of ashes, covered in painful boils all over his body, which he scrapes for some bizarre reason with a potsherd . . . which doesn’t sound too soothing or too smart to me, but what do I know?


That’s what I know.

And lest you think that I’m just stupid, Dear Reader, NOTHING is all that you know too.

We don’t know how this surreal book came to us.

We don’t know why in the story God bragged about how pleased He is with Job to the Devil, of all creatures, whom God then permits to devastate His favored servant, who then suffers more than any one human being will likely suffer in this life.

We don’t know why Job’s so-called friends turn out to be such lousy companions.

We don’t know why the actual HERO of Job shows up in the closing chapters as The Voice in a Whirlwind to challenge His nagging questioner with questions that no man can answer.

We don’t know why even then God won’t . . . or can’t . . . give Job a straight answer to Job’s understandable question, “WHY?”

And finally, we don’t know how this ancient and mysterious book somehow comforts us.

But anyway . . .

Last night I watched an interesting documentary about one of the original Rollings Stones, the bass player Bill Wyman, made from the vast collection of photos, and recordings, both audio and video, that Wyman had preserved during his life that tell his own story and that of his bandmates that I commend to anyone interested in such things.

A Rolling Stone

My favorite part of the documentary was when Wyman, by then a world celebrated great guitarist and now an old man but still at the height of his musical talent and skills, tells the story with his wife alongside him about when he finally saw his musical hero, Ray Charles, and his friends asked Wyman to try to get them backstage, but Wyman tells his friends that a musician who has just given his fans his all isn’t in the mood to greet strangers who come backstage to fawn over him or just gawk at him.

And just as he’s telling his friends this, some assistants of Ray Charles approach Wyman to tell him that the musical master had heard that Bill Wyman was in the audience for the concert and would like to meet him.

Wyman chokes up when he then tells how he finally got to meet his “hero,” pausing many times to compose himself, while his wife pats his back and puts her arm around his shoulders. Wyman tells how he spent at least a half hour that night speaking with Ray Charles who ends their visit asking if Bill Wyman would like to play on Charles’ next album.

With tears, Bill Wyman, recalls how he had to tell his hero, Ray Charles, that he could never play with HIM because, “I’m not GOOD enough!”

Just like in the Book of Job, huh?

There’s that question of “GOOD enough.”

One response to “Job & A Rolling Stone”

  1. In case you missed it, Brother or Sister, the point of this post is that no one is “good enough.”

    In the midst of his suffering lament and while protesting to his so-called friends that he had done nothing wrong to deserve what was happening to him, the ancient Job confessed, “Even IF I were righteous, I could not answer [God], but I would beg mercy of my Judge!”

    If you think that you are “good enough” for your Maker, Dear Reader . . . please think again.

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