This morning Job 12:1-6, 13-32, is among the selections of the daily readings in the Book of Common Prayer. In it Job is responding to the failing advice his friends give him in his inexplicable suffering.
I look at what is cut out of this chapter in our assignment. It is verses 7-12, this part of Job’s wisdom:
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being. Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food? Is wisdom with the aged, and understanding in the length of days?”
Most of this selection I would consider poetic mysticism. Why on earth would the editors leave behind these words that direct us to learn from God’s creation?
Because we live in a rational first culture, a prove it to me world. What cannot be measured with the weights and measures we have made, is judged to bear less weight, sometimes so much less, the light that mystics brings is regularly ignored altogether.
But that doesn’t matter. Those of us who are mystics can rely on God’s world to companion us every day and all through the night. We can trust that we will be given opportunities in which we feel deeply alive.