Noah - A true story.
Years ago, we bought a lamp by the artist Jim Shore. You may have seen his work in gift shops. You can instantly recognize his solid folksy style that uses traditional quilting designs superimposed onto figurines. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim some years ago when he and I were both award recipients at the giftware industries' equivalent of the Grammies. Jim is a master storyteller and uses his incredible talent at carving, to delight us with whimsical interpretations of well loved subjects.
The lamp in question was of Noah's Ark. It was cute as a button, with all the animals and birds clearly having the time of their life, enjoying a cruise ship adventure with Mr. and Mrs. Noah. She, a solid Mid Western farmers' wife and he a cross between Moses and a character from Duck Dynasty, staff in hand and a twinkle in his eye.
It provided light for many a bedtime story, but all those years it sat there telling its own story without saying a word.
Like all good yarns, especially ones that hold the attention of children, Noah's Ark is about animals, about a family, maybe your family. It is also about bad guys and good guys, danger, opportunity, courage, disaster, urgency, focus, effort, organization and a lot of rain. It is also about rainbows and promises and two by two,(there's also seven by seven but let's not go there just yet.) white doves and olive branches, and of course a boat, there's always a boat right?
The narrative holds us in an impossible intellectual embrace between skepticism and credulity. It really happened. I mean it's just possible? It's in the Bible? So it must be? Anyway, didn't a group of explorers find the remains of the ark stuck in a glacier somewhere in Turkey once? Then there are the voices, sometimes our own, that contend it never happened. There is no proof.
We swing from side to side, sometimes believing sometimes doubting and so are held in tension, wanting to believe but unsure.
So is it true? Did it happen? Well, it's a story. And stories are only told by survivors, the ones who made it, the ones who were on the boat. So we tell it over and over because in some deep way, we know it's important, because we know it's going to happen again.
The rains poured down on the Ark for forty days, just as we were forty weeks in the womb. Think for a moment of all those tiny sperm fighting to get to the egg, they nearly all perished! Millions of them. Only one made it to the egg, finding a safe passage through to the next world and you know who that was. You made it! Against the odds. Children have a special sense for this. It's like they just got off the boat and are wondering around dazed, unsure of how they got here but excited that they did. Now they are looking for a hand to reach out and guide them for the next part of the journey.
Yes, the journey. Where to next? Is it time for the rainbow yet? Yes it is. It's the perfect time for the rainbow, because there is work to be done. There's a farm to run, a family to raise and a life to be lived. The rainbow reminds us to rejoice in our days and to keep going. Because one day there will be another ark waiting and if you've read the story and followed the rainbow you'll be ready, ready when that moment comes, to climb aboard.
So until that day, you can tell this story. Sit down at night and repeat it to your kids, perhaps by the light of an old lamp with Noah, his wife and all the animals listening. But most of all, tell it to yourself, because it's your story and it's the truest story ever told.
Noah a True Story
3/24/2014 08:54:57 am
Alive this story and how you told it. Never thought about the whole birthing stuff! Great insight! I will always remember this devotion and what you have added to Noah's story. Thanks Simon! May God continue to bless you with wisdom to share his word and shine his light bright!
3/24/2014 08:57:34 am
Not alive. Sorry for typo. That was to be I loved this story...
3/24/2014 09:40:11 am
3/24/2014 10:27:12 am
I love rainbows...it is one of the best gifts from God. When I speak to someone who does not believe, I think of rainbows, sunrises, sunsets...and the miracle of life, and wonder how they can have that frame of mind.
3/24/2014 10:31:20 am
Rejoicing in our days
3/24/2014 12:50:08 pm
so much in this - deep calling to deep, beyond words really - it's got my spirit grinning and stirred at the same time
3/24/2014 01:28:24 pm
Thanks bro. That touched me.
3/24/2014 03:59:27 pm
It is a tremendous story. At UCSB, an acting troupe put on the story as a play that ended with the sound of thunder and the question, are you in the ark? After Sunday school, my sister once informed me (on a rumor) that God would not destroy the world again, with water, but next time with fire! And a lot of my Christian friends from the comfort of homes and television hearths will describe all the calamities that will surely arrive -- have they not read the history of the last 100 years? (that's what The Rings of Saturn is, a historian who perceives that everything is a shadow of a calamity -- the bridge over the river Blyth made in honor of a Chinese emperor responsible for millions of deaths, the remains of East Anglia airfields where a billion gallons of fuel were spent on WWII bombing runs. ) No wonder God 'inhabits' praise and rejoicing.
3/25/2014 12:57:26 am
Anyway, what I'm saying is that I had just got done with a website upgrade that failed and could have meant 40 of my nights (because it's a night job) and the problem was solved through helpful others who shared their solution. I'm very thankful for these rainbows as well and perhaps my enthusiasm was too evident. ;)
3/25/2014 06:31:33 pm
Inspirational... A great analogy of Noah's Ark and the Beginning of Life from Conception to Birth. This tells us that there is a Rainbow after every storm which means that there is HOPE. It tells us to Never Stop Believing in Hope, the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God's guidance...because Miracles happen everyday!
3/29/2014 09:29:50 am
The story of our lives!!
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