Enoch and Noah – Part 9

The next night after supper, I went to the bird pen like I did every evening and began to play my flute. Jubal and Adah came to sit and sing with me like they always do. I coaxed them into a special cage I had made for them. Then I grabbed a small bag of feed and took them down into one of the lower holds near where the elephant was that took care of me when I had broken my leg.

I hung the cage from a hook on a beam that I could reach from the ladder. I sat and played for them a little while to help them feel at home but, this time they didn’t sing along. That bothered me but I shrugged it off and went back to my families’ cabin to go to sleep for the night. Or, at least, I tried to sleep. I kept having a dream that we never got off the ark because Grampa couldn’t send off the doves the way the Lord had told him to.

I kept tossing and turning, having the same dream over and over again. Then I heard it. “Enoch.” It was almost too quiet to hear at first and then I thought it was Pop calling me. But the next time I heard it, I knew it was not Pop or Grampa.

“Enoch,” it said for the third time.

“Yes?”

“Enoch, do you trust your Grampa?”

I was almost afraid to answer. Then I heard my voice saying, “Yes, yes I do.”

“Enoch, do you trust your Grampa?”

“Yes, sir I do.”

“Do you trust the Lord your Grampa’s God?”

That scared me but still I answered, “Yes sir, I do.”

“Enoch, do you trust the Lord as your God?”

That scared me even more, but still I answered, “Yes sir, I do.”

“Then trust and obey.”

At that I felt ashamed, I did trust Grampa and I needed to trust the Lord too. I knew then my fear for Jubal and Adah was really a lack of trust in Grampa and the Lord. I got up right away and ran quickly down to where I had hung the cage. I returned to the bird pen and released them.

I went back to bed, prayed to the Lord and told Him I was sorry for not trusting Him. Then I slept very well the rest of the night.

In the morning Grampa came to get me and said, “It is time.” Grampa had released a raven the day before and after several hours, it came back. Today it was Jubal’s turn.

We went to the bird pen and got the cage I had used for the birds the night before. As soon as I opened it, Jubal flew right in just like he knew he had a job to do.

Grampa and I went to the upper window, opened the cage and Jubal flew right out. We stood there and waited. My mom brought us some food for lunch after we had waited several hours. Just as we were sitting down to eat, Jubal came back. I was so excited I forgot to eat my lunch. I fed most of it to Jubal who was very tired and hungry.

A week later, we did it again. This time Grampa wanted to send Adah. I wasn’t afraid this time. We did the same thing. We released Adah in the morning and then waited. She did not come back by lunch time. All afternoon we waited. Grampa sat and prayed and I played my flute. Suddenly there was a flutter of wings in the window. Adah had returned and she had a leaf in her beak. Grampa reached up with an open hand and Adah dropped the leaf into his hand.

Grampa smiled and showed it to me. It was an olive leaf. The flood had gone down enough for things to be growing again.

A week later, we did it again. This time Grampa wanted to send Jubal again. I thought it would be like the last two times. We released Jubal in the morning and then waited. He did not come back by lunch time. We waited all afternoon and nothing. He never came back.

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Enoch and Noah – Part 8

It took a while for my leg to heal and I had to stay in bed for a several weeks before I could get back to caring for my birds.

When my leg did get better, I was still very curious and still looked around at the many strange, beautiful and sometimes terrifying animals; but now, I always went with someone else.

And I always came back to my birds. I decided to learn as much about them as possible.

There were lots of strange and beautiful birds to see and to get to know. There were white ones and black ones; red ones and green ones; yellow ones and blue ones. Every color you could ever imagine was painted on those birds. There were even some that had lots of different colors on them. It was a color explosion. It was everywhere. It was marvelous!

There were very big ones and very tiny ones. Some were noisy, and some were quiet. Some just squawked loudly while others sang sweetly and quietly.

But, no matter how excited they seemed to get at times, when I took out my flute and played for them, they settled down and got almost quiet.

One day as I was sitting and playing for them, I realized Grampa was sitting next to me. He had sat down while I was playing and I didn’t even notice. “You’re getting pretty good with that little flute of yours,” he said. “I like the way you play, and it seems the birds do too. In fact, all the animals nearby seem to settle down and quietly listen to you.” I hadn’t noticed the part about the other animals. I had just noticed the birds.

Grampa seemed to favor the birds above all the animals like I did. We liked sitting together and talking or just listening to the birds sing. After a while, I noticed there was one mostly white bird that would move over closer to me when I was playing, and it would sing with me while I was playing. I liked that, and so I began to play even more often than before.

The mostly-white bird, which Grampa told me was called a dove, moved closer and closer to me on a low hanging branch. When I fed the birds, I started making sure the dove got extra food. He would even eat out of my hand sometimes. I named him Jubal. I think it was a he. I’m not really sure. Jubal was the name of one of my ancestors who played the pipes, so I thought the name fit him.

Jubal and I would spend part of every day together. I would play, and he would sing. After a while, his mate would join us too. I named her Adah. They were a lot of fun to be with.

Then one day Grampa told me, “Enoch, the Lord has been speaking to me and told me there was going to be a special job soon for a few of the birds. He wants me to take one up to a window on the upper deck and let it go to see if it comes back. This is part of God’s plan for us, Enoch. This is how the Lord is going to let us know He is preparing for us to leave the Ark.”

I wasn’t sure how to take that. We had been on this trip for several months now. We had all been looking forward to the day it would come to an end but, now, I was worried for Jubal. Would Grampa send him? What would happen to him? Would he be able to find his way back? Would he get lost and die?

I made a plan to take Jubal and Adah and hide them. I know my Grampa means well, but these two birds were my very best friends.

Enoch and Noah – Part 7

I was not sure about this whole prayer thing at all. But, I was alone (sort of), in a lot of pain and very scared. Trying to pray has always been kind of scary too. What if I said the wrong thing and made God mad at me? What if He didn’t really exist?

Grampa’s voice came back into my head again.

“You just tell the Lord what you need when you need His help. He will help you. God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

I knew then what I needed to do. I took a deep breath and looked up (cause I figure God is up in His heavens) and said “Lord, God, creator of the whole world and everything in it, this is Enoch. I am in trouble down here and sure could use your help. You see, I’m pretty sure I have broken my leg because it hurts really badly and I need someone to find me and help me.”

I remembered that Grampa always thanked the Lord for something whenever he prayed, so I did the same thing.

“By the way Lord, thank you for this big boat Grampa calls an ark. Thank you for saving our lives. Please send someone to find me real soon. Amen.”

I just lay there suspended in air by the creature’s long nose, and I think I fell asleep again for a while.

I was jarred back awake when I began to hear voices.

“Enoch, are you down there?” I heard my Papa’s voice.

I yelled back, “I’m down here, Papa! I broke my leg”.

The large animal didn’t move – he (or she) just stood there holding me up. When my Pop got to the top of the ladder, he stepped back for a second and looked. I think his eyes needed to adjust.

“Enoch, is that you?” he asked.

“Yes, Papa, I’m ok. This big animal is very gentle and has been watching over me until you could get here.”

He came slowly down the ladder and walked over to where we were and just looked at the two of us for a minute and then smiled his huge, broad smile.

“It looks like you made a friend here Enoch. This one is called an elephant, and it seems to have taken an interest in you; but, I will take over now.”

Just then Uncle Ham and Grampa got to the top of the ladder and called down to us.

“Is everything all right down there?”

They had never seen a sight like this before and were just as amazed as Pop was at first. Pop took me gently from the elephant and waited a moment while I stroked the animal’s huge nose.

“Thank you, my big friend, I will come back as soon as I can and see you again.”

The elephant touched me again very gently and began to back away from us.

Pop turned and began taking me up the ladder. I turned and waved goodbye as soon as we got to the top. The elephant blew its horn again gently as if to say goodbye, then turned and walked back into the shadows. Pop took me to my room in our cabin.

Gram Naamah and Mama set and bandaged my leg while Grampa, Pop, and my uncles sat in the other room laughing about the elephant that cared for me.

Mama scolded me for exploring where Pop had told me not to go. But, for some reason, she kept hugging me.

After Pop got over being glad to have rescued me, he gave me a stern lecture about my irresponsibility showing up again.

“Enoch, you have been doing so well about being responsible…and now this. How could you just go wandering around down there alone? Especially when I had specifically told you not to do that! There are so many animals aboard the ark that could very easily kill you. What were you thinking?”

I wasn’t even sure what to say. I just stared at the splint on my broken leg and said quietly, “I’m sorry Papa, I was just curious. There are so many animals to see that I have never seen before.”

“Enoch, my son, I remember having a lot of talks with you about getting lost in your daydreams, I thought you were over that. Do not ever go wandering around like that again. Not all of these animals are going to be as gentle with you as that elephant was. You were very lucky.”

I looked at him right in the eyes, “But Papa, doesn’t God watch over us all the time like Grampa says? When I was laying down there with a broken leg not knowing when anyone would come looking for me, I prayed to the Lord just the way Grampa has taught me to do, and He answered my prayer. You came and found me. I know now I should not have been exploring like that, but when I got in trouble, God was faithful just like you and Grampa always say.”

Pop just sat there silently for a second, looked at Mama then got up and walked out.

Mama said, “Don’t worry us like that anymore Enoch. Your father and I were worried sick. I am glad you prayed, and the Lord answered you. But please be more careful in the future.”

Enoch and Noah – Part 6

I was frightened by the big cats at first, but they turned out to be pretty friendly as long as I didn’t get too close.

Then I saw another ladder leading even farther down.

Hmm, I’m pretty sure that this is where Papa told me not to go. But, I wonder what it looks like down there”.

Just then I heard some strange rustling around noises and noticed that the lamps that lit up each of the lower levels seemed to be out. I began to get very curious. I looked around to see if anyone was around.

Papa will never know if I look just once.”

So, I began climbing down the ladder and I was turning and twisting around trying to see what was there when suddenly the ark lurched and my foot slipped. I lost my grip on the ladder and began flailing around trying to grab onto something when my left leg got caught in one of the steps of the ladder.

There was excruciating pain, a horrible snapping sound and then I landed hard on my back, flat on the deck. The next thing to hit must have been my head because I blacked out for a while.

When I awoke, I was in more pain than I had ever imagined in my whole life. I realized I had broken my leg badly. I couldn’t keep from yelling and crying it hurt so badly, but no one came. I was down there all alone.

I realized that my father and uncles were cleaning out stalls at least two decks above me and couldn’t hear me.

Where is Grampa’s God when I need Him?

I immediately felt completely alone and in the dark. Then I began to feel afraid. I didn’t know how often they came down to this level to care for the animals.

My eyes began to gradually get used to the dim light.

I began to yell again.

“Help,” I yelled as loud as I could.

“Help!”

“Help!”

After the second or third yell, there was this really weird echo. It sounded a lot like a horn of some sort.

Every time I hollered help, that strange horn echoed back to me.

After about five or six times, I tried to sit up and look around.

Through the tears in my eyes and into the dim light, coming toward me was the biggest animal I had ever seen.

It was sort of a brownish grey with big floppy ears and a long huge nose, an absolutely monstrous, grey, wrinkly body and legs twice as big around as my Uncle Ham. Just as I started to get a good look at it, it rose up its nose and made that horn sound I had been hearing.

It walked slowly over to me with its nose pointed at me sniffing me and then touching me. I was scared at first, but its touch was so gentle I stopped being afraid. It pushed at me a little bit, like it was trying to help me stand up. I reached up to feel it’s long nose and it began to pick me up and cradle me with it. I felt the pressure on my leg get less and the pain got easier to handle.

I wasn’t sure what was going on or why this animal was doing this. I looked up and I could tell the big thing was also looking down at me. I began to feel very relaxed and very tired. My eyes had trouble staying open and I must have fallen asleep for a while.

When I woke up, the animal was still holding me up. I began to call out for my father. “Papa,” I would call out. I was not very loud at first. I did not want to frighten my protector.

“Papa!”

I would repeat a little louder each time.

“Papa!”

“Papa!”

After a while, I stopped because I wasn’t getting any answers. The pain was still pretty strong and I was getting tired again. I was also very thirsty and starting to get more afraid that no one was answering me.

I was getting scared and I didn’t know what to do.

I thought about what Grampa might do and, just as clearly as day, I could hear his voice talking to me. “Enoch” he said “you just tell the Lord what you need when you need His help. He will help you. God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

Enoch and Noah – Part 5

“Enoch … Enoch … come on son, it’s time to get up.”

“Okay Mom, just five more minutes …”

I had one more stone to roll before I would beat those town boys at their own game. I lined up my shot and just as I was about to make it …

“Enoch, you need to get up and do your chores. Come on, son.”

“Okay, okay …” Realizing the game was just a dream; I stretched my arms and legs, and then opened my eyes and tried to focus.

The room was pretty dark, “Where was my window, my furniture … my stuff?

Then suddenly I felt my bed lift up from behind me and tilt to my left. I quickly looked around, “What is going on? My whole room moved!

“Huh? Wha—where am I?” I said out loud.

“It’s alright, this is your first time waking up on the ark,” my Mom’s voice again filtered through the morning fog in my head.

Then things began to look familiar, “Oh, yeah, that’s right …”

Memories of the last days, weeks and months began to flood back into my mind, the work on the ark, the fire, the townspeople attacking Grampa, the animals arriving, the rains and flooding and finally the door of the ark closing on the outside world the Lord had decided to destroy.

“Ok Mom, I’m going.”

I got up, dressed, washed, grabbed a chunk of bread from the table and headed up toward the large pen with the netting containing all the birds that came with us on the ark. I have to feed them and clean out their pen.

There was singing and wild calls coming from the top of the ladder I had to climb to get to the upper level. I really like all the birds, feeding them isn’t too bad. It’s the cleaning up after them that’s yucky.

I grabbed a couple of buckets and filled them with the different kinds of food the birds liked and went into the pen. When they saw me with the food, the sound of all the birds got so loud I nearly had to cover my ears.

Looking up into the branches of the trees my Pop and uncles had brought in and mounted to the walls of the pen, I saw many of the birds moving to the lower branches. They seemed eager to eat.

It’s a good thing I looked up because one of the birds was dropping something yucky. I just barely got out of the way in time.

After cleaning out the pen and putting out the food, I sat on the bench inside the enclosure and thought for a while. “This is going to get boring real fast if this is all I have to do every day,” I said to myself.

I had asked Grampa how long we were going to be on this trip. But, the only answer I could get from him was “The Lord will let us know when He is done out there. Just be patient, Enoch.”

So, I decided to explore the Ark.

The first thing I did was to walk all the way from end to end on the deck my birds were on. I had already done that topside (that’s what we call the top deck of the Ark where you could go outside) but, I didn’t want to stay out there because it was still raining.

But, I wanted to see everything.

So I walked and walked and walked, each day I went to a new and lower level.

I looked and looked and looked. I had never seen so many different kinds of animals in all my life. A lot of the animals were new to all of us and we didn’t know what to call them. Many had come from very far away and many were very strange.

I wanted to see them all, even all the creepy, creeping things, no matter how long it took.

One night at supper, we talked about what I was doing.

“What did you see today, Enoch,” Mama asked.

“I saw the monkeys and the antelope and the . . . um . . .striped horses,” I said.

Papa laughed and said, “Those are called zebras son.”

Then he spoke up in his stern voice, “I don’t want you going down to the lowest levels son. The big cats and other very large, dangerous animals are down there. They may be safe enough but, I don’t want you to take any chances. Do you understand me?”

“Yes Papa,” I said.

There were still lots of other parts to explore that I hadn’t seen yet. And, there were lots of animals yet to see.

Every day for several weeks I went out and looked and explored. I was having a great time until one day when I was going down to one of the lower levels where we kept the larger animals.

Hmm, here’s another ladder going down, I don’t remember seeing this one before.” I thought to myself. Down at this level, the cages were much larger than the ones higher up.

Wow! I bet the really big animals are down here. One more level won’t hurt …

Enoch and Noah – Part 4

I ran to Grampa and asked what was happening. He told me the Lord had told him about the water from the sky. Grampa called it rain. He said it would continue for forty days and forty nights. All the water would destroy the whole world that we had known. He called it a flood.

Then something really weird happened. I looked out the door. I could see that the water was everywhere. It was beginning to cover our farm. People from the city and surrounding farms started arriving, and I could see that they wanted to come with us. Grampa, Pop, and my uncles came to the area near the door, and Grampa began to pray. He said, “Oh Lord of heaven and earth. You have blessed us all beyond measure, but we have rebelled against you. And because of this rebellion, you have chosen to destroy the earth by a flood. But you have also chosen your servant Noah and his family to care for the animals that you have sent to us. You have instructed me to build this ark. My family and I have done so. The animals that you have chosen have arrived. They are safe inside this ark, which we built according to your command. The rains have begun. The flooding has begun and we, your servant Noah and his family, are safe inside. The rest is up to you Lord. We place ourselves in your hands Almighty God. Do with us as you will.”

Just as Grampa finished that prayer, there was a loud creaking sound and movement by the door. It was the DOOR! It was closing all by itself! The people that had gathered on the outside began yelling and rushing toward the door, but…they were too late.

The door closed with a groan, a scraping, and finally a loud thud that echoed throughout the ark.

They were on the outside and we were on the inside and suddenly it got real quiet.

No one spoke.

The animals were silent.

Then the whole ark moved!

We suddenly pitched to the left. Things were sliding across the floor and falling. Then we pitched back the other way. Something hit me and knocked me down. Pop was right there with his strong arm and he picked me up. And then…the ark steadied upright again and we could tell that we were still moving. It was really weird!

After we put a few of the things that had slid around back where they belonged, we raced up the big stairway to the windows on the top deck of the ark. All we could see was water for miles and miles. There were just a few mountaintops off in the distance.

We were alone in the middle of all of this water that wasn’t even there just a few days ago. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream. I didn’t even want to believe it. I thought that I would wake up in just a minute. But…. I didn’t.

The sky was blacker than anything I had ever seen; the wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand still. It made me feel so cold with the rain coming down harder and harder. I kept thinking about all the people and things that were under that water. I just stood there hanging on the edge of the window looking out.

I couldn’t understand why they all had to…be destroyed. That made me angry, so I went to a small place on the ark that I had discovered to hide when I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to think about things for a while.

I thought about the people and the places that I knew. Grampa was right. There were people that did really mean things. I didn’t understand a lot of what went on, but I thought that those people wanted to live that way. Maybe it was ok if they weren’t hurting anyone but themselves.

But then I got to thinking about something Pop had told me. If I make something and it doesn’t turn out right or work the way I wanted it to, I could tear it apart and start over if I wanted. He told me that was what God was doing. He was going to start over. He was going to keep parts of what He made that He liked and was going to do the rest over again. It was His choice. I repeated that to myself, “It was His choice and He always chooses to do the right thing.”

I didn’t even hear Grampa come up behind me. The first thing I knew was that his hand was on my shoulder. I turned and looked up at him. He told me to follow him. He led me to where the birds were kept. The light was dim and it was pretty warm in there. They seemed to be comfortable with that. They were strangely peaceful and quiet. We found a little bench to sit on, and Grampa and I sat there watching the birds for quite a while. We used to do that sometimes at home on his favorite bench, under his favorite tree, watching the sun go down. It was almost like old times. I began to feel a lot better and was able to relax a little. Then he scooted away from me just a bit, bent down, and looked me in the eyes and said, “Enoch, I am sure that all of this is frightening. It would frighten me too, and it might even make me angry…if I did not know the Lord the way that I do. That helps me to trust Him. Enoch, I want you to know the Lord the same way that I do. I want you to trust Him the same way that I do.”

I looked into Grampa’s eyes. They were deep and soft and loving. I knew I could believe him and trust him. Trusting God was a little bit harder for me. Then I remembered what Pop had said. He told me to trust Grampa and to trust in the Lord.

“God is faithful,” he always said, “you just obey and wait and see.”

Grampa had said the same thing many times. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to trust him, God I mean.

“Grampa,” I said.

“Don’t say anything now,” Grampa said. “Would you pray with me?”

I looked down for a moment, and then back into his big eyes.

“Yes”, I said, “I would like that.”

“Hold my hands,” he said. I put my hands into his. My hands were so small compared to his. They were big and worn from many years of hard work, but at the same time, they were soft and tender.

He began to speak quietly, with confidence and familiarity.

“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, God of our fathers Adam and Enoch, Lord God, hear us now as we speak. I am here with my grandson Enoch. He is having a hard time trusting you; he might even be a little bit angry with you. He doesn’t know it is ok to be honest about all of our feelings. Mostly because he does not know you as I do. I know you are faithful and true. I also know that you love us each more than we could ever realize. Please help my grandson Enoch to know you as I do. Help him seek you and to know you as his great, great, great….great grandfather Enoch knew you. Help him to trust you and to know you are faithful. Thank you Lord, for I know you will hear and answer this prayer.”

With that, he squeezed my hands, and I knew it was my turn to talk to the Lord.

I was scared.

It’s not every day you talk to the God that created the universe, but Grampa knew Him so well and trusted Him so much I wanted to try.

I started the same way Grampa did.

“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, this is Enoch, and I’ve never spoken to you before because I…I…well, I just didn’t know I could. Now I know I can. I have learned that from my Grampa and I just want you to know I want to trust you in the same way my Grampa does. Please help me because I’m pretty young…and, well, I’m really new at this. Please help me to trust that you’ll take care of all of us in this ark and one day soon we can live on land again.”

Grampa laughed a little, but I kept going.

“Thank you, Lord, for loving us. Thank you for loving me and my family. Help us to take good care of all the animals. Especially help me to take care of all of the birds. There are more birds here than I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”

“Anyway, thank you Lord. Please forgive me for being angry with you. Please help me to do my part of trusting you to take care of everything else on the outside of the ark. I know it’s my job to just trust and obey you.”

Then Grampa put his big arms around me and gave me a real good hug. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

I gave him a big smile and said, “Ok, Grampa, I’ll do my best. The Lord has to help me, but I will try very hard and trust Him.”

“God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”

Then he walked away. I sat there with the birds for a long time thinking about all that had happened. I felt more peaceful than before. I, somehow, just knew that things would be all right. But, our voyage had just begun.

Enoch and Noah – Part 3

Then I got to thinking about all the extra birds and remembered the big area toward the top of the ark. It was like several really big rooms without walls. We had hauled in and mounted a bunch of different sized dead trees, so they would have someplace to roost if they wanted to. Then I remembered the stuff called fish net Pop had hauled up there. He said it would come in handy for keeping the birds where they belong. That was a little confusing to me because the net stretched from the floor to the ceiling and everyone knew chickens can’t fly. But, I had lots of other things to do, so I had no time to think about that.

The next day, right about the time the sun came up, Grampa came and woke me himself.

He said, “Today is the day, Enoch.”

“Today is the day for what?” I said.

“Today is the day the animals will begin to arrive. We need to be ready.”

“How do you know that, Grampa?”

“The Lord told me, and He is faithful, just you wait and see.”

Grampa was right. Even before breakfast, the animals began to arrive. They came in pairs. Grampa had me counting them to keep track. There were lions, pheasants, elephants, tigers, cows, horses, sheep, oxen, cats, dogs, monkeys, bears, and even snakes and all sorts of animals I had never seen before. They showed up…all by themselves. Pop and my uncles pointed them into one of the many, many pens or stalls that had been built. There was no fighting. It was amazing!

As for me, I couldn’t believe the numbers and types of birds that began to show up. Pop had gotten the netting up only a day or two before, and all of the birds either flew in or walked right into the big room we had prepared for them. I couldn’t believe it. This went on for seven days. Grampa was right. The Lord was being faithful. He was bringing all of the animals to us!

While all of that was going on, Grammie Naamah, my mom, my two aunts, and all of my sisters and cousins were helping get our stuff onto the ark. I had to tell them what I wanted to bring and what could be left behind. This was starting to get a little scary. It was really happening! For a while, it was sort of like…a dream! But, now…it was way too real. How was this ark going to float with all of these animals and us inside? How were we going to take care of all of these animals?

Grampa must have noticed the way I was feeling. He came over and pulled me aside. He squatted down next to me and looked me right in the eyes.

He told me there was nothing to be afraid of. The Lord had promised to take care of us, and He always kept His promises. “God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.” And then, he gave me a real big hug. I felt better.

Then I saw Pop watching us. He smiled, came over, and hugged me too. He told me to trust Grampa and to trust in the Lord. “God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”

Pop then told me I had been doing a much better job of being dependable. He was going to count on me to take care of all the birds, not just the chickens. He was sure I could do it. He put his hand on my shoulder and smiled at me. I was so happy, I felt like my heart was going to bust out of my chest.

There were a lot of animals on board. So I got really busy taking care of all the birds. I needed to care for them the same way I took care of the chickens at home. It was the same job, only it was a lot bigger than before. I went up to where they were kept to sort of look around, and I couldn’t believe all the different types of birds. I still had no names for them, but boy, were some of them beautiful. They were different shades of every color in all sorts of combinations and, boy, were they noisy! Each one seemed to be talking or singing or chattering in some way. It was noisy, but beautiful.

We had covered the floor with sawdust and wood chips left over from the construction of the ark. That helped a lot with the mess the animals left on the floor. We also had a lot of hay to use both for food and to cover the floor. That way the animals could lie down and sleep at night.

Then, after the seventh day, the animals stopped coming. It was weird after they had been coming for so many days.

Then it got really cloudy outside. These clouds were darker than I had ever seen before, and soon it was almost like nighttime. The wind blew harder and harder, and then…water started falling from the sky. I’d never seen water fall from the sky before. Then it came down harder and harder. It came down so hard we could barely see a stone’s throw away.

Enoch and Noah – Part 1

 

I wonder exactly what Grampa means when he says his God is always there and always faithful,” I thought as I lay in the hayloft of the barn practicing a new song on my flute.

“Enoch, where are you?” The angry voice startled me.

“Uh oh, what did I do now?” I stuffed my flute into a pocket, climbed down the ladder and ran toward the door of the barn.

“I’m coming, Pop!”

I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Where is Grampa’s God when I’m in trouble?

When I got to the barn door, I saw Pop standing in the goat pen comforting a distressed goat. Then I knew what was wrong. I had forgotten to milk the nanny goats, but they didn’t forget and were making their displeasure known, loudly.

I ran toward the goat pen. “I’m sorry, Pop, I was in the barn and forgot to do the milking.” I gathered the stool, the bucket, and started milking.

“What were you doing in the barn that caused you to forget the goats…again?” he said. “Were you busy doing some work or just day dreaming?”

I kept milking the nanny goat and didn’t answer right away. Finally, I said, “I’m sorry Pop. I was thinking about something and just forgot. It won’t happen again. I promise.”

He leaned down toward me and spoke quietly into my ear, “That’s what you said last time, and the time before that.” He straightened up and spoke a little louder, “When are you going to stop forgetting and be a responsible boy?” Then he walked around to the other side of the goat, hooked a finger under my chin, lifted my face and looked me right in the eyes. “Enoch… son, you are 10 years old, and I need to be able to count on you. Please do the chores I ask you to do.”

His words burned like fire in my heart, but I didn’t want Pop to know. So I looked down again and just kept on milking.

Pop straightened up and said, “I am going over to work on the project with your Grandfather today. Don’t forget any more of your chores. I’ll check on you at lunchtime. I’m counting on you son, don’t let me down.” He turned and walked away toward the west meadow where they were building the “project”.

My hands kept milking the goat, but my eyes followed him as he walked away. I felt my throat tighten up, my eyes began to water, and my eyesight to blur.

I thought to myself, “I hate disappointing him.”

I wanted to run after him and beg his forgiveness. But I knew that the best way to get it was to earn it by doing all of my chores and doing them well. I sniffled and wiped my eyes. I continued to watch Pop walk toward the project while my hands began to milk as fast as they could.

How could I trust a God that isn’t there to help me when I need it?

As soon as I was done with all my chores, I decided to go over to the west meadow and watch Pop, my uncles, and Grampa work on the project. I ran toward a little hill that overlooked the whole meadow, and I lay down in the grass at the top of the hill facing the meadow so I could see it. It was huge.

It had been there for as long as I could remember. It was the biggest thing I had ever seen. It filled up the whole sky to the west and when the sun was setting, there was this huge, black outline I could see even from my bedroom window.

Pop told me God had appeared to Grampa and told him to build it. Grampa calls it an “ark.” He said it was a boat and would float on water. I’d never heard of a boat before.

At that moment, I wasn’t too sure about my Grampa’s thinking.

You see, all of my friends (and everyone else in town) said Grampa was crazy. They said that he was especially crazy to build the boat. There wasn’t any water to float it on here in the desert.

Grampa had spent his whole life here in the high desert, far away from any sort of town. Maybe he was a little out of touch with … things.

All I know for sure is that Pop, Grampa, and my two uncles all spend part of everyday working on it. It’s like our family thing, this boat or ark.

Every day I had to feed chickens and goats and milk the goats. I had to collect all the eggs. Sometimes I would talk to the animals when I was feeling lonely or when I was thinking that this whole ark thing was just plain crazy.

Grampa heard me talking to them one morning when I was not feeling very good about our family “project”. After I was done with my chores he took me for a walk to his favorite tree. We sat down and talked for a long time. He told me about how the Lord had really talked to him and that, at first, even Grammie thought he was crazy too.

The Day Great Grampa Disappeared – Part 2

‘Ha, ha, ha, do you know where my great Grampa is?’

“Still chuckling he said, ‘There is a family nearby who are suffering because they were too sick to harvest on time. They have also been hit hard by some sort of blight. In addition to the grain and seed, your Grampa Enoch is taking over a few farm hands to help harvest what they can and to teach the neighbor how to avoid the blight next year.’”

“I thought that was unusual, but the foreman said, ‘Let me tell you something about your Grampa Enoch you may not know. He does that sort of thing all the time. He is always very generous with his neighbors. He says that is why the Lord has given him so much. He believes God wants him to care for others and, well, he always wants to obey the Lord.’”

“Well that made me stop and think for just a moment. But, it still frustrated me because I really wanted to find him.”

“So, I asked Samuel where he was now. He told me your great grampa Enoch had gone into town to arrange the details of helping another family that had been completely wiped out by a fire. He was going to meet with the village elders to put together a group of people to rebuild the house and barn for them. He was going to pay for the wood and other materials, but he wanted others to pitch in with labor and other things.”

“Wow, Pop! Was he always that generous?”

Lamech touched his son’s head. “Samuel said he was. I was beginning to learn that it was just the way he was. I never really noticed before, but later on I remembered some things he said, like the Lord had blessed him so that he could bless others. He also said that is what the Lord would have him to do. And he always wanted to obey.”

Lamech’s son thought about it for a minute and then looked at his father and said, “So what did you do next?”

Lamech smiled. “What could I do? I had questions I needed to ask your Great Grampa. So I headed back to the village to see if I could catch up with him there.

But, by the time I got there, he had already done his business and left. I managed to speak to the elder who was a friend of my family and he said to me, ‘Let me tell you something about your Grampa Enoch you may not know. Today, he helped us deal with a very difficult situation. Two members of our village were very angry with each other. There was name calling and a lot of accusations of cheating and lying flying back and forth. It was very tense. He took each one aside separately and then talked with both of them together. By the time he was done with them, they had settled their differences and were both smiling and laughing. They even walked away together. Then your Grampa Enoch said farewell, too, and went on his way. It was amazing!’

I asked him where Grampa had gone. He told me he was going to go have lunch with his friend, Ezra, on the other side of the village. I was just about to head over to Ezra’s house when my sister, Naomi, told me Mother wanted me home to take care of some more chores and eat lunch. My hunt for your Great Grampa would have to wait.”

Lamech’s son jumped up and said, “Didn’t you tell her you had some real important questions for Great Grampa Enoch, and you needed to go see him first?”

Lamech chuckled. “I tried to, but she told me mother was not going to take no for an answer and you know your Grandmother Lois. She can be very persuasive when she wants to be, especially with her children. I didn’t dare disobey her, so I went home.”

It was his son’s turn to laugh. “You’re right; I remember a time when I tried to do something different than the way Grandmother Lois wanted it. She wouldn’t let me get away with it. She kept after me until I did it her way.”

“That’s your Grandmother! So you see, I went home for lunch.”

“You didn’t give up then, did you?” his son asked impatiently.

“Oh no, I didn’t, but it did slow me down by about an hour. After I finished my lunch, I headed over to Ezra’s house.

Zacchaeus and Me – Part 3

This time was very different. Uncle Zach was so excited about having Jesus come to dinner at our house that he invited almost the whole town. He even invited the people that were calling him a sinner and scum. Some of them turned out to be the men that were in charge of the synagogue. I think that they were called Rabbis or Pharisees or Scribes or something. Well, he invited just about everybody in town.

When Jesus arrived with his friends, I went up to a place on the roof so that I could sit and watch everything going on in the courtyard and stay out of the way. I could see Uncle Zach talking to Jesus when I heard him say the strangest thing. Jesus was sitting down and Uncle Zach looked Him in the eye and said, “I will give half of my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much.”

It got real quiet in the courtyard that day. People could not believe what they had heard my uncle say. Then Jesus spoke loudly so that everyone could hear, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a son of Abraham. And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.”

Now, I didn’t understand all of that but later I went downstairs. I wanted a closer look at this Jesus for myself. Uncle Zach found me and excitedly took me to Jesus and introduced me directly to Him. I couldn’t believe that I was standing there with Him. I just stood there, staring. I didn’t know what to say. But, Jesus bent down and took my hand and looked me right in the eye. He told me that He was very, very glad to meet me. I still couldn’t speak. It was like He was reaching right inside of me and touching my heart. I stood there and stared at Him for another long minute and then I rushed over to Him and just hugged Him for all I was worth. He hugged me back real strong and I felt warm and tingly all over my outsides and my insides. Somehow, I just knew that He loved me more than anyone else ever had or could. He loved me more than my Uncle Zach and even more than my mom and dad. I just knew that knowing Jesus and loving Him was the most important thing in my whole life.

I realized later that Jesus came to Jericho just to meet my Uncle Zach and me. Our lives would never, ever be the same. For instance, Uncle Zach went all over town to find people that he collected too much tax money from and gave the extra money back…just like he told Jesus that he would. And then he would give them four times as much as he took wrongly…. just like he told Jesus he would. Uncle Zach really changed after he met Jesus. He became the nicest man I ever knew. People in town didn’t run and hide from him anymore. He made lots of friends and our house became a place that people liked to come and visit.

My life changed too. I worked a lot harder at making new friends and being a good friend. I also told all of my new friends about the time that Jesus came to town to meet my Uncle Zach…and me.

Do you know Jesus? Do you know that He loves you more than anyone else in the whole world ever could? Would you like to meet Him too? If you don’t know Jesus and want to meet Him, talk to your Sunday school teacher or one of your church leaders or your parents and ask them to help you to know Him. Do it today!

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