On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. Genesis 7:13
COVID19, and the slower pace of life it has introduced, has given many opportunities for in-depth conversations with family. This morning, as Ron and I sat down to watch our church service online, he turned to me and asked this question. “When you get to heaven, who would you be interested in talking to? Someone that isn’t a mainstream biblical character?” I sat for over a minute in silence before answering. Finally, I knew. Noah’s wife.
Isn’t it true that the spouses and children of prominent people are often the most interesting? They haven’t had a voice as they’ve quietly lived behind the scenes. They’ve seen so much but said so little. We may know how their ‘famous loved one’ feels about many things but we cannot assume they are a carbon copy in their beliefs and perspectives.
Noah’s wife lived with Noah hundreds of years before God spoke to him with a mandate to build a boat. What kind of person was he before the call? How did she experience him? Did they have a good marriage? We don’t know but we assume the answer is yes simply because he listened to God and followed the difficult path of obedience. But not every believer is a Christ-like mate. Life is messy and man is sinful.
What was it like for Mrs. Noah to support him while he built the ark? How many nights did he want to quit? Did she ever despair of his health when she saw the toll it was taking on him? How did she handle the criticism of the world around her? It’s one thing to be personally criticized but quite another to see someone you love suffer ridicule. What were her thoughts about the ark? Did she ever doubt that her husband had heard God’s voice?
And what did she think and feel on that morning that it was time to board the ark with her family? When she heard the mighty sound of God’s hand shutting the door, did she fear of what would come next? She had no experience with a boat on open seas. She’d never seen a mud puddle!
So many of our thoughts are of heaven these days. We long for the stability of the kingdom and the righteous rule of Jesus as King. Like Noah, we see a depraved world that is disintegrating more and more into lawlessness. We are much like Noah’s wife, mere witnesses on the sidelines. She holds such intrigue this morning.
You have your own answer to Ron’s question. One day you will pull up a chair. You’ll make a cup of coffee, or iced tea, and share a 1,000-year conversation with your person of interest. Relish the anticipating. Such is the stuff of the kingdom and such are the ruminations of the saints. Our deferred hope has many shades and pictures. My fireside chat with Mrs. Noah is my daydream today.
Don’t let me be afraid to read the scriptures with holy imagination. Amen