Artist in Residence 2018, Elias Popa
Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
“Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
“Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
“What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?
“Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
(Job 38:1-2,4-7,12-13,16-30,34-35, 39-41. NIV)
March 12, 2018
I think we are all familiar with the plight of Job and God’s terrifying responding questions of Job’s understanding. For me, this passage provides such a revealing of God’s mystery. When reading those scriptures, I always feel like God lets us in on a small fraction of his complex and labyrinth-like heart. It’s uncomfortably narrow and sometimes violent. Wild. Frightening. Claustrophobic. But as we follow through this squeezing, we resign to the terrible holiness of God. That done, we find that upon passing through these narrow passages, God leads us to the Centre of His heart which is wider, more encompassing and peaceful than the entire universe.
It is by passing through this ‘tightness of fitting’ that our perspective of the world changes to one of radical sameness. Although nothing has changed in that we are still very much in our current circumstances, the world is made new—revealed as filled with unceasing opportunities.
Follow the development of Elias’ project by reading his second and third posts as the 2018 Artist in Residence.
All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.