An X-ray revealed that Papa’s collar-bone was broken in three pieces. The M.D. told him he might need surgery and shuttled him on to an Orthopedic Surgeon who gave him a sling that fit and a pat on the back and sent him home. In the medical field, they are all still practicing, you know, and none have yet reached perfection. At least they no longer use leeches or seek to balance bile and phlemm and blood. There’s simply nothing to be done for a broken collar-bone, except try to keep it from getting jostled. In the meanwhile, Papa’s neck and chest have turned a rainbow of purples and greens. “It’s kind of fun taking care of him,” Mom announced this evening, “Well, except for the flossing. That didn’t go too well.” As for her, she forgets she has a sore knee at times. Like tonight when she got excited and slapped her knee—then bounced out of her chair crying, “Ow, ow, ow!” Lydia and I strove desperately to control our giggles, but when Mom’s amazing sense of humor won out, we joined her laughing.
This morning I sat cross-legged in beg and opened my Bible to Job. And sighed. Sometimes it seems like a passage in scripture is just alive and teeming with amazing truths and encouragement for exactly whatever I’m experiencing. I’ve eaten up Job in the past, but my mind was blank this morning because Job was a godly man under intense attack. I’m not a godly person and my life is cruising along comfortably. Too comfortably perhaps. Truly, I have nothing at all of which to complain. But as I waded in, the Lord proved Himself all-wise with a completely different angle from a story I thought I knew. Behold the wonderful friends who came to comfort Job in his misery—it truly does bespeak devotion that they came and sat in the ashes with him for days before speaking. But when they spoke, they spoke not the truth of God, nor with compassion and they tore apart everything Job expressed. And God rebuked them for their “counsel without knowledge.” I drew in my breath, reminded again how vital is compassion when offering counsel and how necessary is truth and how dangerous the task of taking on responsibility to rebuke or exhort or offer wisdom. How necessary it is for me know God if I would speak to others of Him and not incur His holy rebuke. And how closed my heart so often is to the possibility that someone might suffer in testing—that they haven’t necessarily sinned. My response to suffering should be to embrace, to listen, to weep with those who weep and only rebuke or counsel when I am certain of the truth from scripture.