Well, i know that God is working in me through this project. I have said previously that by going through the Bible this way i am getting a much more intimate picture. The lives and people become more personal. The situations and lives have gone from stories of history, to a history of people. Well, that has not been more clear than here in chapter 7.
I started today waking up with the song “Take Me In” by Kutless running through my head. So i was singing it as i went down to the basement to start working on chapter 7. I opened my Bible and journal, looked at vs. 1, and started crying. “Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the ark, you and all your household…” I knew what was coming, and i just couldn’t handle it.
Now to put this into perspective; I remember where i was the day that the Oklahoma city bombing occurred. I was at a friend’s house. It was someone i hadn’t seen in years. His mom turned on the TV, and it was all over the news. My reaction was, “Oh great, that means that this is going to be all over the news all day.” Not a tear shed; more annoyance about the life interruption than anything else. I didn’t understand why everyone was getting so worked up about things. And sure enough the drama went on for days and weeks.
Then September 11, 2001 occurred. I was in class working towards my Masters in Counseling when the news hit. It seemed like all these people all around me were crying and upset. The loss of life affected them, but not the same way as with me. I was shocked and upset about what was happening, but i was more fascinated with seeing the whole event unfold. I kept wanting to see before and after comparison pictures to see the extent of the damage. The loss of human life was not as much of an issue for me.
Now with that background, i come into this chapter. I’ve read this chapter more times than i can remember. I’ve heard the story in Sunday School and classes even more than that. It has always been just a story to me. …A story with important historical and theological implications. Today though, it was something completely different. It was no longer just some story. Those people, those lives, have become important. Seeing all the energy, all the effort, all the work that has gone into these lives. Not just the people, but the animals and the plant-life. Those people have become my people. It’s like i’ve watched them grow up. I’ve seen their dreams, joys, failures, children, and grandchildren. I’ve seen them live, love, lose, and find redemption. I’ve been there as man loses his home and he comforts his wife. I’ve seen children born, destroy their lives, and continue feeding that through the generations. I’ve seen new hope born. I’ve seen generation after generation consume themselves more and more with their anger and selfishness.
I understand WHY it needs to happen, but i’m crushed that it DOES. “Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the ark, you and all your household…” I knew what was coming, and i just couldn’t handle it. How must it have been for Noah and his family? How hard was it for them knowing that all that they knew and cared for was about to be destroyed. How much more for God, who had created and cared so lovingly for. This wasn’t just some trivial matter. This was a necessary revulsion of all of the corruption that was acting as a cancer that was destroying the world. It was all the hard work and effort. It was all the hope dreams and lives, gone. I started crying. (You can ask my wife, that’s not something that happens very often.)
Then it’s almost like my eyes were drawn straight down to verse 16 “Those that entered,… entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him.” At that point the crying turned into weeping and i had to turn away. This is something that God HAD to do personally. He HAD to set it into motion Himself. The work of His hands, the man created in His image, the birds, the cattle, even the creeping things, all of it. A necessary and total loss… except for that one hope that floated along in that little boat.
It took me about 10 minutes and some serious toughing up to get to the point where i could pick up my pen and start writing. Needless to say, this project is completely changing the way i view the scriptures, and the world around me.