Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)
TITLE: All In
By Linda Gage
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It had been over 100 years since her husband anxiously told her about a message he received from God. His devotion to God was one of the reasons she loved him so much. The Lord told Noah to build a boat; an ark large enough to hold their family and hundreds of animals. Building an ark was strange enough, but the reason for it was disturbing. God was going to send a flood to cover the earth and kill every living thing. He was not pleased with mankind.
Noah immediately began building to God’s specifications. She humored him for the first 75 years as he diligently worked on the immense structure. As year after year passed, she became frustrated. Their family was a spectacle. He would speak of looming peril and quietly return to his work, leaving her to deal with the unruly crowds. Their laughing and mocking incited her protectiveness for her husband. In anger, she would yell to them, “Change your evil ways and ask God to forgive you.” She could not have understood that God knew they would not change.
Just as God told Noah, they entered two by two. Noah never questioned God, but even as she watched the wide variety of beasts parade into the ark, she wondered, “Would God really destroy every living thing?”
Over the years the neighbors had watched her help gather enough food to feed an army. Curiosity turning into criticism as she abandoned her friends to do what Noah asked her to do. She would repeat Noah’s warning about the impending flood. Then she would go and ask Noah, “Are they really that bad?”
He would say, “It is God’s decision and God is never wrong.” This was not what she wanted to hear.
Her sons were excited to see the array of animals and birds, some they had never seen before. Her eyes diverted from them to the water bubbling out of the ground. She could not imagine the entire earth covered in water and tears bubbled from her eyes.She contemplated the impossibility. Then fear, frustration and anger overwhelmed her. She began to cry because she just could not believe like Noah believed. Sobbing with her head in her hands, she did not notice the line of animals was gone. Noah and their sons were inside, securing pens and tying down the last supplies.
A larger than usual crowd gathered to ‘see what Noah’s family was doing today.’ She was the spectacle sitting there crying her eyes out. She felt Noah’s hand on her shoulder. He whispered, “My dear wife. God says it’s time. We must go in now.”
For over 100 years she watched them work on it, she gathered food to put in it, she defended her husband against the naysayers, but she never set foot in it. She was paralyzed. God could not go through with such a horrible thing. Noah hugged and nudged her at the same time, “Let’s go.” Noah knew God would not wait.
The crowd ranted and raved. She was out of words to defend Noah. The only thing to do now was to follow her beloved husband. With hesitation she took his arm and together they walked through the ark’s door. It slammed shut behind them. The mob continued to ridicule and sneer insults as they thrust stones at the ark. Noah prayed.
Noah and his family waited. Then one day water began to fall from the sky. Noah looked up and exclaimed, “This is how God will do it!”
Still crying, she thought that her tears had dampened her sleeve. But when the water poured down, she looked up. Though, soaking wet and cold, she felt God’s warmth. She raced to see the two massive exotic creatures that terrified her earlier. She stared into their eyes, then laughed, danced in circles and praised God. She was not afraid. Noah’s faith was always there but hers took over 120 years to grow and she thanked God for waiting. She was all in now.
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