I’ve been sitting on this story start for a long time, so I thought I would share it here. I hope you enjoy it.
Mrs. Noah and the Ark
Desert sunsets are spectacularly beautiful some days. Today was one of those days. The air was warm and drier than usual. It was very comfortable as Noah sat on his favorite bench underneath his favorite tree watching the sunset with his wife. They leaned back against the back of the bench and held hands. Noah and Naamah had enjoyed doing this for several hundred years and never tired of it. Noah looked over at his wife. She was still beautiful after all these years. More beautiful than ever he thought at that moment as they sat together in the twilight sun. They had been married a long time. After all Noah was 500 years old (that was still young in those days) and Naamah was, well…younger. But, it didn’t matter. She had borne him three healthy sons and they were all married and they both hoped for grandchildren soon. Life was good. Noah squeezed her hand gently and Naamah smiled.
Well, that’s probably the way that Noah would start this story. But, I wonder how this story looks from Naamah’s point of view. Perhaps it was something like this…
My husband Noah and I ended our very busy day as we tried to do most days. We sat at our favorite bench under our favorite tree watching the sunset. Desert sunsets are spectacularly beautiful some days. Today was one of those days. The air was warm and drier than usual. We leaned back on the bench and held hands. His big hands were rough from hard work, but they were always tender toward me. Noah was a very special man and I knew that from the time that we were both little. And now, after having shared several hundred years of marriage (I won’t tell you exactly how many if you don’t mind…) we were the proud parents of three healthy grown boys and (since they were all married themselves now) we were hoping for grandchildren. But, that will come in the Lord’s own good time. Our life together has taken on special significance because my Noah has been trying to remind our neighbors of the righteousness of the Lord and trying to persuade them to give up their wicked ways. He goes into town and preaches to the people in the town. He tells them to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord. They don’t seem to take him seriously. Poor Noah, he has always taken great pains to run our business and home life with great honesty and respect for others. But our neighbors and those in the nearby towns couldn’t be bothered. They all seem determined to forget that there is a God and that He sees their evil ways. Some days he is just sick at heart from the way that the others live and their refusal to change. That makes my heart ache with his. Oh, we are not perfect! We know that. But, to live with total disregard for doing what is right….”Nothing good will come from that,” I told him. “You just mark my words….” I say to him. He looks at me with those big loving eyes of his and says “You are very right, Naamah. Someday the Lord will deal with them. It is just my job to tell them, to warn them that they are taxing his patience.” “Let’s go inside now, my husband, the sun has gone down and the air is starting to get a chill.” I said. We both stood up, he put his arm around me and we walked together toward our home.
Well, not too long after that conversation, Noah had the most unusual experience. One unlike any that he had ever had. The Lord God spoke to him. The Lord God Himself spoke directly to my Noah. I could not believe my ears when he told me that the Lord had given him plans to build an ark.
“He wants you to build a what?” I said.
“An ark, it’s a very big boat. A ship really.”
“A ship, what is a ship?”
“A very big boat, it floats on the water.”
“What water? We live high in the desert. The only water we get up here is from our well.”
“Well,” Noah replied “it’s going to rain.”
“Rain”, I said, “what is rain?” getting more confused by the moment.
Noah patiently replied, “We are going to have water falling from the sky and water gushing up from the earth, but not for awhile yet. We need to build the ark first.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. My normally sensible, solid, stable husband had taken leave of his senses. At least that’s what I thought at first. Then I remembered that he was not taken to flights of fancy and that there must be something to this. So, I asked him to tell me more.
“Well, the Lord gave me instructions, very specific instructions for building this ark. He told me how high to build it, how long to build it, how wide to build it, what woods to use, all of the details for the construction of the outside, the inside and everything!”
“Well” I said, “why is He doing this? What is all of this water going to accomplish?”
Noah responded, “He is tired and weary of the people of this generation. Their sin is out of control. All these people think about is evil, evil, evil; all the day long. His patience has come to an end; just like I have been telling them. He is sorry that He made us and is going to wipe us out; He is going to wipe us all out, every last one of us…except for…our family. That is why I have been given instructions for the ark. We are to build it so that we can survive the flood. I need to get our sons over here and start planning this.”
“Wait just a minute,” I said “when is this rain and flood going to happen? How long will it take to build this big boat, this ark?”
“I’m not exactly sure yet” He said, “I’ve never built anything this big before. It may take a long time. It may take years!”
“Years? Did you say years?” I said “Just how big is this boat, ark, thing going to be?”
Noah put his big arm around me and said softly “Very, very big. Let me show you my notes”.
I looked down at what he had written down. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here is what it said “450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.” I stood there silent for a minute trying to imaging how big that was going to be. Doing that made me a little weak in the knees and Noah guided me to the closest bench so that I could sit down. I had never even imagined anything so big and we were going to build it ourselves right outside in our…
“Wait a minute” I said “where are we going to build this thing? Not in my garden, I’ll tell you that much right now, and certainly not in the barn, this thing is too big to fit in there!”
Noah smiled at me and said “No certainly not any of those places. I was thinking of that field over to the east of the barn. It’s too rocky for planting and has never been good as pasture. It’s perfect. There is plenty of room to stack the wood while we prepare it and its level enough to work on.”
He was right of course. He always did make it a point to have things thought out before he told me about them. He knew that I would have questions. He wanted to have answers for me.
“There is something else that I haven’t told you yet about the Lord’s plan” he said. “We are going to be bringing some animals along. Lot’s of them.”
Well that didn’t surprise me, after all we had to eat I thought. I said to him, “Of course we are going to bring our flocks and herds, that is very sensible.”
He took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eyes and said, “There will be more than that, lots more. The Lord has instructed us to take two of each kind of living creature, a male and a female, to preserve their lives as well. That includes birds, mammals and reptiles.”
Now at this moment I was glad that I was already sitting down because the thought of all those animals…the thought of ALL THOSE ANIMALS! My heart started beating double time as I began to think about all those animals and the last thing that I remember is the room starting to swirl and get dark. The next thing was waking up in bed with my three sons and their wives standing around the bed with my Noah fanning me with a towel. As soon as I was able to sit up the girls fixed us all a meal. As we ate, Noah and the boys were actively planning what they needed to do to get started on the ark.
Noah was right; it did take a long time to build the ark. A very long time.