Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Jesse Tree: Noah and the Flood
Tonight the theme was Noah and the Ark, but I'll be honest with you. I didn't do this one so meditatively. My teenaged daughter needed me, and we sat and talked while I worked, and it was pretty important to be a mom and give her my attention. I believe that's God's work too, to love the people around you, and be there when they need you most.
You know, I never liked the whole ark thing as a kid's story, animals notwithstanding. I mean, there are many redemptive elements in this tale. That's for sure! But, didn't like, almost everybody in the world die! I know they were wicked. I'm just sayin'. Thank God that rainbow tells us that He's not going to that anymore. Whew.
This story is very deep, really. I mean, so not for kids.
"The the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart."
It's hard to imagine.
Okay, so maybe, deep down inside, I didn't want to think on this. On judgment. My good God being sorry. Grieved in His heart. And it's possible that perhaps I've wondered if He was sorry He made me some dark days. I mean, I don't certainly don't think anything like that now. I think He loves me very much, but I do have my dark days.
I took a class once, and the teacher--a Christian! A good one!-- said this story wasn't literal, and I certainly wouldn't be mad if it weren't. Then again, maybe I'm looking at this at the wrong way. Maybe the story has more hope than I'm giving it credit for, beyond the saving of Noah and those animal doubles. Even the flood part. Maybe the world in this symbol really is me sometimes, the thoughts of my heart evil continually. And lovies, sometimes my thoughts are truly wicked, Lord, have mercy on me. Maybe it grieves the God who made me for love, and to love. And how much does that suck?
But maybe, just maybe, this flood that killed the wickedness, well, maybe it's what my spiritual papa Brennan Manning refers to in his newest book (more on that later!) maybe it's The Furious Longing of God (do pre-order). Maybe that storm is a love storm that's fierce enough to cleanse us from evil. Maybe that's the point. That love is like water. And water can come in a raging storm. But that water can ultimately bring healing, and isn't that just like the Holy Spirit, often symbolized as water? Honestly, I never thought about it with such love. Reading Brennan's new book (and yeah, I know. Nice work if you can get it. And I got it!)... Reading it did something to me. It caused a shift in my soul in the best way. It healed and changed me, and I'm just beginning to feel it. What a wonderful beginning.
And how does this story end? The storm subsides, the vessel lands, a dove is sent (another Holy Spirit type) and comes bearing news of peace. And isn't peace a good thing? One of the best of things.
And we begin again.
Grace to you.