Job 23:1–9, 16–17*
Introduction to prayer: Be Still and Know that I am God
Abandonment, the action of leaving someone to their fate by ceasing to take an interest in them. The echoes of the cry of Christ at Easter, “My God My God why have you abandoned me” seems so far away in October but that feeling of isolation when we discover that we must face something alone is perhaps what we fear the most. It is one of our very first fears in life after the warm intimate closeness of our mother’s womb as we find ourselves thrust into the cold lonely world, Darkness is all around me: thick impenetrable darkness is everywhere (Job 23:17). Far from the comforting embrace of their mother babies cry out in the dark, alone in their crib. Why would parents do such a thing to a child all alone in the night? It happens when it’s time to walk, and again when it’s time to go to school. In life again and again and again we are abandoned. Even if we are rescued from the darkness it will come again. In this story as in life we find that suffering is something we can neither be flee or be rescued from, abandonment can be cured with companionship and suffering can be endured in community.
TiS 647 Comfort Comfort all my people
Response to Scripture: Allow yourself to sit with the abandoned
With you O God the deepest night is clear as the day.
Rev Will Nicholas contributed this reflection to With Love to the World, a Uniting Church produced daily devotional. Head to their website to find out about ordering.