Consumed (a 6-word story)

God consumes me in the whirlwind.

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(Photo from Wikimedia Commons – The torments of Job under a swirling sky dominated by God. Engraving by M. van Heemskerck, 1563. Iconographic Collections Keywords: Job; Marten Jacobsz van Veen Heemskerck)

Author’s Note: I’ve always been fascinated by the Book of Job, and I’ve always been interested in the idea of what it would like to be “consumed by God.” In the Christian mysticism I’ve been reading, many monks and mystics talk of this fervor to be completely consumed by God. I’m curious as to what that really means.

At the end of the Book of Job, God appears to him from a whirlwind and speaks forcefully. After questioning God throughout the story, Job trembles as the Almighty compares his human weakness to God’s power. Unlike this six-word story, Job is not consumed in the whirlwind, but what if he was? What if he was consumed by God’s love or, should I say, wrath? Could any of us hope for that in this lifetime – the ultimate mystical union?

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