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Monday, November 14, 2016

Noah's Evangelism (part 5)

Artwork that shows Noah's ark in a storm with huge waves and lightning. Image source.
(part 1)
(part 2)
(part 3)
(part 4)

The door slammed shut.

That's the end. It's shut. No one is getting in, no one is getting out.

"What the hell is wrong with you? Do you have some kind of death wish?" Shem growled at Ham, then stormed off, wringing out his clothes as he stomped up the stairs.

Ham was soaked to the bone and freezing cold, but he didn't care. His mind was reeling. How could it be true? The flood was real... the flood was real... the flood was real... and God doesn't love us.

What about Terah and his family? What about... no, it was too overwhelming. Don't try to think about the fact that every person you have ever met- except for 7 members of your family- is now dead.

Something brushed against his leg. It was Fluffy, wagging her tail and as happy as ever. She didn't know what was wrong, but she could tell that Ham was upset about something. Now this is real love, Ham thought, as he ran his fingers through her thick wet fur. This is unconditional love. The way a dog loves people.

He remembered how Fluffy used to play with Terah's little girl... she used to growl whenever there was a strange sound. This dog, Ham thought as his eyes filled with tears, this dog would have laid down her life to protect that kid ... what was her name? Ham couldn't remember. And now... with the flood... would anyone know her name?

Did God know her name?

He used to think God loved people. Unconditional love- that's what Noah had taught them. But now, as the rain pounded and pounded against the outside of the ark, as hundreds and hundreds of animals stomped and howled restlessly- such a surreal experience- every time the ark lurched, carried by the rising waves, Ham felt the reality like a punch in the stomach. God is not love. Splash splash splash. Roar. God is not love. Tap tap tap. Chirp chirp. Snort. Drip drip drop. God is not love.

Suddenly, the ark spun around, and all the animals got even louder. God is not love! God is not love! The parrots screamed it. The bears howled it. The apes yelled it.

Fluffy pressed closer to Ham, wagging her tail tentatively. He stroked her fur and cried even more.

And then, another sound. Through the pounding rain and the terrified animal sounds, Ham heard something else. Something soft and sweet... music...

"Your love never fails, your love never fails..."

Really? Really? To hell with that. As the entire population of the world drowned- people were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark, and then the flood came- his family was singing that goddamned worship song.

"Your love never fails, your love never fails..."

And that's when Ham realized he was in hell. He would be stuck with these people for the rest of his life, people who felt it was appropriate to sing about God's love as God destroyed the world. People who seemed not to care one bit about all the people who died today.

What will my future be? Ham wondered.

He cringed as he began to imagine how Noah would surely describe the flood, years from now. How it was a just judgment because all the people on the earth were so evil- every inclination of man's heart was only evil all the time- and isn't God just THE BEST for saving our family? All those people... Terah... and... whatever his little girl's name was... they would be remembered as nothing more than caricatures. They would be symbols of sin. They would be objects of God's wrath. They would be a demonstration of God's holiness.

"Your love never fails, your love never fails" floated over the sound of the pouring rain and screaming animals.

Ham was the only one left who cared about the deaths of almost every person in the world. Ham would be the only one who considered this a tragedy.

What would happen to him? How could he go on living with this family? How could he go on living with this God?

"Your love never fails, your love never fails..."

A long time ago, Shem had asked their dad a question. If God loves people so much and wants to save them on the ark, why doesn't he just force them on? Why give them the choice? And Noah had answered, for people who don't love God, living on the ark, surrounded by constant worship of God, would be a nightmare.

Ham shivered in his wet clothes. Hell. This is hell.

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