So, as I listen to you, Job, I hear you talk about rejection over and over again. That is the fundamental point that you don't seem to be able to "get over." Oh, certainly the pain of the loss, both psychological and physical, is unbearable, but you have put a name on this loss--and have called it God's rejection of you.
Before I really try to understand all the contours of that rejection, I have to interject something, Job. I am a man of the 20th and 21st centuries, and so I have consumed, spit out, and been nourished on the pablum of the psychological profession and other glib-speak that reverberates in our sound-byte culture. And what does that "glib-speak" say? It says, "Job, that is only one interpretation you can place on things. There are so many other ways that you can 'read' it. You could, for example, stick with primary causes and actually explain your children's death as the result of a fierce wind that made the roof collapse. You could explain the loss of your servants to the raid of the Sabeans. By rushing to the throne of God and laying blame at God's door, you have foreclosed the rich interpretive possibilities available to you in reading this act. Why not look at it as part of the 'journey' of life, a journey in which there are no assurances and no money-back guarantees? Leaping to interpretive finality is not a wise, or probably a correct, way to go." Does my "reading" make you want to puke, Job? (Reader?)
Ok, I have said my piece for the nonce. Now it is time for me to listen to you. I won't ask you anymore why you don't see things differently. I will accept that you see things as you say them, and I won't try to change your mind. You are a determined guy, Job, and maybe it would be a sort of crime to try to change your mind. So, let's get to your words.
In pleading with your friends, you said, in words that admittedly brought a catch to my throat and made tears well up in my eyes, "Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me (19:21)." Oh, you are so clever to use the word "touch." Isn't that word a word that carries with it the greatest ambiguity? Touch is the instrument of human intimacy. Touch has a way of making the rough edges, the asper angles (so to speak) of life become smooth. Touch can put a person back in his right mind.
But in this case touch has driven you out of your right mind. I know you suspect it was God who so touched you. Actually, if truth be told, it was The Satan, the prosecutor if you will, who brokered a deal with God on this question. It was he (or was The Satan a she?) that urged God to stretch out the divine hand and "touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face (1:11)." You never knew this, Job, like the reader knows it, but you suspected it, didn't you? You really did know that God was behind it all, making your life miserable for no good reason. You didn't know that it resulted from a bet with The Satan, but you probably would not have been too surprised when you learned the facts of the matter.
So, when you said that the hand of God had "touched" you, it seemed as if you were almost using a euphemism. When I was growing up, I fell under the sway of Evangelicalism. They have a great hymn, sung by a guy named Beverly Shea. Oh, I know he has a girl's name, but he is really a guy. It runs, "He (God) touched me, Oh he touched me, and Oh the joy that fills my soul...." And when Bev sang "soul" it took him about 30 seconds to get out the sound. But he made God's touch sound so wonderfully fulfilling, so much the experience of life's coming together in one great symphony of joy, love and meaning.
But you used it euphemistically, didn't you? You used it like Marc Antony used the word "prick" in Act IV of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, didn't you...even if my question is highly anachronistic? Let's "prick him down" or "prick him" was Antony's comment to Lepidus and Octavian in response to what to do with Caesar-loyalists after his assassination. "Prick him"--my goodness, that sounds like someone is going to take a gentle blood draw from the finger, doesn't it? But it isn't that at all. To "prick him" means to kill him, eliminate him.
Well, I see Job that we have come to the end of another part of our talk and we still haven't gotten that far. But it was important for me, in order that I can really hear you, to get some of these thoughts out in the open. Now, I am ready to listen. Really. Tell me what you mean when you say you feel that you are rejected. I, like Ross Perot in 1992, am all ears.