I claim no religion as my own, yet I know in my heart that our Creator accepts the children of all religions; and so must I.
In the Barefoot Jewess I found much wisdom.
Here is one example of many. Indeed she is one of the good heart people, that you will find all over the world, no matter what religion or state of being they subscribe to. I like Barefoot, I hope that she will keep on posting her inspirations. As soon as I post this I'm going back to read more.
Reporting On God. Wading Through A Sea of Jews
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 13:15)
No, there is no "him". I don't remotely believe or experience G-d to be separate from me- G-d suffuses everything. Everything is G-d. The pain, the blood, the joy, the delight. There is no question in my mind.
As for Job, who can stand here and say their story is akin to his? That notion is rather daunting and humbling. Perhaps it's just that we can relate. We may not be so extravagantly prosperous, but maybe we've known extravagant happiness and blessing and suddenly it is all snatched away, in ways we never imagined. Job's story is related so compassionately.
In that tale, the Satan, G-d's familiar, is directed to afflict the soul in whom G-d has tremendous confidence. We see Job as a man who mindlessly clings to ritual and doing all the right things that he thinks have brought him the great rewards of prosperity. Well, I am not sure how many of us can relate to that part. In fact, I think it is G-d's confidence in Job's core soul that allows Him to risk such material and emotional devastation on Job's life, even though Job simplistically believes right acts lead to reward.
It turns out that shaking a fist at G-d and standing his ground is Job's real style, his core nature and soul. In the face of everything, he finally declares: Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him. Or, "yet will I argue with Him".
I've observed G-d for quite some time, now. And rarely really reported on the phenomenon. I read Psalms and discover a pattern: that the Psalmists are always experiencing G-d and/or trying to get back to G-d and the experience. I discover another pattern in Shaharit, the morning service, that addresses an awesome encounter, a description of that encounter, and the desire to remain within that experience; and having had that encounter, to live in hope of it and of G-d's grace and favour, to be suffused with that supernal light which is hoped for, wished for, craved, longed for, and which you can't buy, bargain for or will. It's all about returning to G-d. Over and over again.
Sometimes, I feel as if I'm on a treadmill. The "getting back to G-d" treadmill. Crap happens. I turn to G-d. Crap happens again and I turn to G-d. Even when I think I'm being faithful, doing the right things, crap happens and I'm back to square one. Or lately, back to ground zero. I have to ask myself at some point, is this that damned Buddhist wheel of suffering? Am I not getting it? Am I not understanding?
And then Tisha B'Av comes along. I remember, once, reading Eicha, The Book of Lamentations, and fasting, all by my lonesome and being struck by the thought of there being no G-d, no cosmic meaning in my life. As I've mentioned before, the realisation filled me with utter terror, as if I were torn away...violently rent from the source of Everything.
Ask me if I am not relieved to have Tisha B'Av descend upon us this Saturday night? I may feel as if I'm on a treadmill, but it somehow brings relief, becomes a touchstone. I have so much to howl at this year, and Lamentations is as ground zero as you can get. I will grasp at any holy verses that capture the essence of our tender, vertiginous lives and the nightmares that petrify our dreams. They are as real as all the hope and glory, and they are as much sanctified.
No one can answer why bad things happen to good (or innocuous) people. Any answers I have ever read have always created a limited god, a god of our projection, a god of our personal understanding, touted as the god. No. There is only mystery, and perhaps a spark of great unfathomable love, if we are lucky. A love that encompasses the good and the bad, because, in the end, it is all good.
Feh. In my raging pain it remains cold comfort; I want my friend back as she was, I want some shred of remembered happiness with no cruel unabiding centre.
Still, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 13:15)