Monday, March 5, 2012
NOAH -- MADNESS AND SADNESS -- AND HOPE
The Word Carnival.... Madness
“Noah, how could you do that?” she wailed, beating his chest. “How could you close the door? Did you not see the water rising? ... or not hear the screaming?” She paused and looked around frantically for a moment and then threw her hands up over her ears and shrieked, “Oh, the pounding, the pounding!” With that she crumpled at his feet, sobbing.
Noah, knelt next to her, gathered his wife into his arms, his own tears soaking his beard.
“My dear one,” he said, cupping her face in his hands, “I did not close that door.” She looked at him in disbelief and tried to jerk away, her eyes calling him a liar. He held her fast, and looked deeply into her eyes and repeated himself. “I did not close that door.” Since she had known him since their youth, Noah hoped she would believe him, and know that he was not lying, that his heart was also hurting.
She melted into his arms, sobbing quietly.
A few hours later, rain still hammering on the roof, the animals shifting about anxiously, Noah called his family together into their common room, and away from their personal living quarters where they had run for shelter. Looking around the circle of his sons and their wives, looking at his own beloved one, he felt momentary panic. Two of his sons were wide-eyed with fear over the sudden events. He could nearly read their minds as they wondered whether they were truly safe, or if a violent drowning death awaited them, too. Noah’s other son did not look frightened, which should have calmed Noah’s heart. However, Ham’s eyes were filled with cynicism and hardness, no compassion coming through. Ham’s wife, on the other hand, was overwhelmed by sorrow. Noah had hoped that when Ham married her, her gentleness would overcome his harshness. So far, Noah’s only joy came in seeing that Ham had not been able to change her heart and spirit and that she remained the same loving woman.
While sitting on the straw mats, the family looked at Noah intensely, waiting for him to speak.
“Since your mother believed I closed the door of the ark, ignoring the cries and pleading of those on the outside, I expect you may think the same.” Noah paused, clearing his throat and choking back tears as he tried to continue. “I knew something was happening soon, but only because I had completed every task Jehovah had placed before me. And, as I waited – as we waited – I hoped I would not be the one forced to close the door. To see my brothers and sisters, or my friends, clamoring for safety, and to refuse them, could badly wound my heart. I have not slept well for many years, wondering how and when this would take place.”
Looking around the circle, Noah saw a glimmer of belief and relief in their eyes. “When the final events happened – the skies opened and flooded everything around us – the ground quaked and great springs of water shot forth – I was as shocked as you, and frightened. Even with all I preached – all the warnings I gave – all I had expected to happen – somehow I did not realize it would look like this.”
He paused again, covering his mouth with his hand, tears filling his eyes. “I was trying to calm the animals as the noise increased because of the rain when I heard the door close firmly – and I knew it was not a man.”
Noah walked around the family, touching and blessing each one. All of them, except Ham, leaned into his hands, warmed by his touch. He took his wife’s hand, gently stroking it, and said to her, “I know you, and your daughters, will spend much of your future lives grieving over the loss of so many dear family and friends.” He looked around and continued. “I can truly understand. So... as I see tears flow and sorrow burst forth, I will not neglect any of you. You may come to me at any time so we can pray together and seek comfort from our dear Jehovah.” He stopped and looked at the ceiling for a few seconds. “Even though there is a side in me that says they had their chance, heard the truth and made their choice, it does not mean my heart is not suffering, too. However, I must force myself to look to the future or I will be lost in sadness and no longer be of use by our Creator.” He shook his head. “And that I cannot risk.” He paused again and returned to his place.
“As I have told you before, dreams and visions from our dear Lord God have revealed a land restored from this desecration. Abundant life. A world replenished. Men and women who will understand true worship and do so joyfully. In spite of what we see around us at this moment, I have hope .... hope that sin and unfaithfulness will never again fill the world and cause another tragic event, another world-wide sin-cleansing by His hand. Yes, my dear ones, that truly is my hope.”