Noah fastened the last board to the ark and backed up to sit on a large rock. As he began to sit, his hand touched a part of the rock. For the first time, he noticed how smooth it had become through the years. He had been too busy during the past decades to even notice how the rock had changed. He tried to remember back through all the years to the first day when Mrs. Noah had brought him lunch, and they had sat on the rock and talked of the plans Noah had been given for this huge boat. Lunch on the rock had become a tradition for them. It was a time to plan for what was to come. Whatever that was they really did not know; but, just the same, they talked with anticipation about what it would be like to see this phenomenon Yah had called “rain”.
This day, Noah just sat and stared at the ark. His boys had gone home to tell their wives the news that the ark was complete. Noah's mind wandered as memories of the years flashed in front of him. He remembered how the people around him would come and listen to him tell of coming judgment. They seemed to listen in the beginning, but, as the years would go by, they became more and more skeptical of Noah's message. The skepticism eventually turned to mockery. Noah and his growing family became “those people”, “the radicals”, “the crazies”. It had become harder and harder for Noah and his family just to function in the community. They had to take the boys out of the local school and teach them at home. Even Mrs. Noah found that she had become the object of ridicule at the local markets. Sure, there were some who seemed to listen and, even for a while, would lend a hand and talk like they wanted to be a part of what Noah was doing. As time went by, though, for one reason or another they would no longer be heard from, and Noah would find himself and his boys working on the ark alone. Noah chuckled to himself about how many times he had told Mrs. Noah that they should have had more children!
The daydream ended with some commotion behind him. Noah knew what it was. Every day, just like clockwork, the people from the city came to laugh and make fun of Noah. He rose from his rock and turned to see the crowd gathering. To his surprise, they were not gathering, but rather they were scattering! What was going on? What was that approaching the ark from the woods? Could it be? Maybe? Yes. It was animals! There were lions. There were tigers. There were bears! “OH MY” was the first thought that ran through his head. Then he noticed it. From every direction he looked, there were animals coming toward the ark and walking up its ramp.
Noah tried to count, but it became useless. He could barely keep up with how many different kinds of animals there were, even some he had never seen. He did notice the termites and just hoped they would not eat him out of house and home. His thought was quickly disrupted by a pair of woodpeckers with a very excited look in their eyes.
Just then, Noah felt a presence behind him. He turned to see his wife and family standing silent. The look in his wife's eyes was one he had never seen before. Always a woman of few words, she simply said, “It's time”. Noah turned and, with animals all around, led his family up the ramp and onto the ark.
As Noah stood just inside the doorway of the ark, he suddenly remembered something he had been meaning to do. He had forgotten to install the pulley system that would help him close the door. As the thought was going through his mind, the door began to close on its own. His view of the people staring from outside became smaller and smaller. He knew he would never be able to forget the last looks of fear in their eyes.
The door closed with a slight but secure thud. Noah just knew within himself that it did not matter that the door did not have a lock; no one was coming in or, for that matter, going out. No one could get out! The thought reverberated in his spirit. A moment of fear almost took hold, but it was soon overcome by the noise from outside. Noah could hear the people beating on the door to no avail. The people were continuing to mock and even curse Noah while staring in the face of their impending doom. The fear gave way to compassion, but Noah knew the closed door had once and for all separated mercy from judgment.
The family began to hear a sound in the ark. It was faint at first, but with each passing moment it became louder and louder. It sounded like water hitting the surface of the ark. Was that what Yah had called rain? For hours and hours, the shouts of the people outside seemed to compete with the rain. Eventually, it seemed that the voices were becoming more and more distant. At one point, Noah thought he heard the voice of a young man who had come to him just a few weeks earlier in the middle of the night. The young man had asked Noah about the ark. Noah had explained the message he had received from Yah so many years earlier. At first, the young man had come and even helped with the work. Just last night, he had come again to tell Noah he could no longer take the rejection and ridicule of his family and friends. He would not be back.
Days turned to weeks turned to months on the ark. The termites found some wood shavings to munch on. The woodpeckers behaved themselves and only drilled holes on the interior boards. Noah kept an eye on all of them. Never can be too careful, you know?
The rains eventually quit, and the ark came to its place of rest. It was time for the door to be opened.
Noah and his family stood speechless and, as they gazed out at the renewed earth, they saw that all the wicked had been swept away during this time of judgment. Noah and his family had been secure within an ark of grace. Now they found themselves LEFT BEHIND.
I could write for hours on the similarities of the above account and how it relates to our day. I think I will pass, though, and allow you personally to take it from here!