“What you doin’?”
Japheth lifted his axe for one final blow.
“Stand back. You’ll get hurt.”
The boy heeded his advice and backed a few paces to safety’s edge.
The towering tree wrenched from its resting place and thundered to the forest floor.
Japheth turned to look into curious brown eyes. “I’m cutting timber.” The answer was obvious.
“You building a house?” the lad wondered. “Must be a mighty big house. You cut down enough trees for a hundred barns.”
Japheth slung the axe over his shoulder and neared the little boy.
“Not a house. A boat. I’m building a boat.”
He turned to walk to the next tree previously marked by his father as suitable for timber. The boy followed.
“What’s a boat?’
Japheth laughed. “A boat is a…” he had to think. How does one describe a sea-faring vessel to a little boy who has never seen anything larger than a canoe?
“A boat is like a building that floats on the water.” He was satisfied with his answer.
The boy was not.
“Must be a lotta water for a boat that big. Where’s the water gonna come from?”
God will provide, Japheth thought, would make a suitable answer. But would it raise more questions than it answered?
Decades passed. The boat was built according to precise measurements. But there was still no water. A monument for ridicule, the capacious ark stood stark against the desert plain. The little boy — now a grown man in his own right —still wondered, where will the water come from?
“Time to board,” Noah finally announced. Solemn expressions graced the countenance of every face. His family knew there was no turning back.
The sounds and odors of a world of God’s creation filled the hollow of the vessel. “A hundred barns.” Japheth recalled the words of the little boy as he entered the ark. The door closed securely.
Then came the rain.
The peal of thunder was deafening; like nothing they had ever heard. Lightening streaked through cloud-blackened skies.
Blinding sheets of gray poured from the open heavens. Japheth climbed a rickety ladder to peer out the window hewn at the boat’s peak. The sight would have caused fear in the heart of any man, were it not for the safety of the ark.
It was then that he felt the strong hand of his grown son firmly grasp his shoulder. Together they watched as torrents overwhelmed the landscape.
“You were right,” he said to his father. “I’ll see where the water comes from.”