Up at dawn. Out of the house by 07:30 for an 08:15 doctor appointment for Yours Truly. Except that I was wrong, it was for 08:30. Finally saw the doc at 09:00. Out of there shortly after, no Biggie, just a semi-annual check. Back by 10:00, and got to eat a bite and have coffee, breaking the fast from last night.
Looked forward to an easy day. Until panic call from Niece next door. Has appointment for Great-Niece to have the stitches removed from her finger, my sister-in-law had promised to "watch" the great-nephew during the visit, but cancelled via text messages to husband and thence to niece, rather than a simple phone call. So Wife (and I) ended up with a very active 1-year old until after 2 p.m., totally unexpectedly.
But the day had started worse. Shortly before I left for the doc, Wife had a call from an honorary great aunt. (see below). Great-Uncle Bob had passed away. We'd been expecting it, we'd had a call about eight weeks ago to the effect that it wouldn't be long. They've been living in South Carolina, FAR from here. While his (current) wife is a Believer (or was: I've not spoken with her in more than 25 years), he was not. At all. His health problems and his demise were in part because of age, around 79, but also from a veritable lifetime of heavy drinking. It's a shame of course. Under the circumstances, there will be a cremation and no ceremony, no "celebration of life", and no one has suggested that he's chanting with the angels.
What makes it worse is that he was an identical twin. His brother, still living, lived right next door, as had been the case for most of their lives. The fact that the (current) wives hated each other didn't help. But now, the new widow is far from family, and the remaining twin is alone for the first time in his life. Won't be easy.
Now, an explanation of family structure oddities in Wife's side. The deceased was at one time married to Wife's late great aunt, her mother's sister. Divorce and remarriage was long before I was on the scene so I don't know all the issues, or even all of the players: the game of "serial monogamy" seems to have been a favorite, as is increasingly the case in many other regions. So even describing the relationships gets downright weird.
We continue in the book of Job with chapters 21 and 22
Job is hard. Very hard. Job is described as a good man, a devout worshiper of the true Lord, about every good thing that can be said. And catastrophe fell upon him, aggravated by the so-called help from his so-called friends.
During it all, he never gets an answer to the obvious question "WHY????". Nor do we always. When we truly surrender to the Lord, we like to think flowers and butterflies will follow. Not always. Job reminds us of that. We are committed to trusting Him, no matter what, and that sort of blank check is hard for us, certainly for me. Job conducted himself pretty well, better than I would have done.
I have, in my family tree (back a while) the names of those who were hideously and grotesquely killed and martyred for their faith. Generally, by so-called "Christians". Christians who were devotees of the Roman Catholic cult (generally no Greek or Coptic or Syrian Orthodox types, though likely from some Russian Orthodox types), and also the "Reform" types, meaning Lutherans, and Calvinists, generally meaning Presbyterians. They died and suffered terribly. I am one of their heirs, a product of that faith and that faithfulness unto death. They were willing, and did, give all for the Lord.
It is important to remember that we are promised an eternal victory, not necessarily worldly success. Many churches ignore that. Many of those in the pews ignore it too, choosing -- as did Job's "friends" -- that worldly happiness is a mark of right living, and trouble is obviously a mark of the Lord's disfavor. Not necessarily. Tell Job, or Paul, John, or, for that matter, tell it to Jesus.
And there is some "splash" effect as well. Job suffered, terribly. So did his children. Why?? I don't know, never have.