Job’s Choir – By Charles E. Poole
There is a long list of ways things can go wrong in this life. None of us will go through all of them, but all of us will go through some of them.
And when we do, one name that often comes to mind is Job, whose ancient story, in the Bible book that bears his name, is largely about living into, through, and beyond the hardest and worst that life can bring.
Job’s story is home to so much tragedy that, even beyond the Bible, Job’s name is synonymous with suffering. In fact, Job’s losses were so devastating, his grief so overwhelming, that, more than once, Job prayed to die.
… A chorus of despair in which Job’s is not the Bible’s only voice … Job’s choir, I call them: Moses, Elijah, Jonah, and all the others, unnamed and unknown, beyond the Bible and across the centuries, who were sure they could not go on; souls so weary that they joined Job in that deepest prayer of deepest despair; “If you love me, let me die.”
They may have believed that they could not go on, but they did. Which is often so for us. Even in those moments when we are most certain that we cannot go on, we do. The question is almost never “Will we go on?” The question is almost always How?
The simple words that are gathered in this small book are hopeful reflections on that quiet question: “How do we go on when we cannot go on?” Which is what the words huddled here are: tries at the truth, earnest efforts, certain to fail, … But, still, we try. We can’t not. There is too much pain in the world, and in our lives, not, at least, to try.
Charles E. Poole
Chuck Poole retired in 2022 from forty-five years of pastoral life, during which he served churches in Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Jackson, Mississippi.
Job’s Choir is his ninth book. Chuck and his wife Marcia have two adult children and ten grandchildren.