How would you have felt? I just ask you!
My husband comes home with a wild look in his eyes, calls for our sons, grabs an axe, and takes off for the woods. No explanation. Not a hint of when they’d be home again. What about dinner? No consideration – none at all.
And that was just the first day.
We’d always been a normal, respectable family. My husband had always been a good man – everybody said so. My sister, Irene, and my best friend, Nadine, said I was the lucky one. And they were right.
So what happened to him? It took forever but I finally pieced together some of the story. God had talked to him. I know, I know. It sounds crazy. Just wait ’til you hear the rest.
God told him to build a great big boat. We didn’t live by a lake or the ocean or even a river, you know, but a boat he started to build. In our backyard. Where everybody could see it. Imagine that.
The bigger that boat got the worse it got. People gawking. People laughing. And then, people avoiding us.
Nadine for one. We’d been friends since we were little girls. We met at the well every single day. No more. My best friend lost. For what? For my crazy husband’s crazy boat.
But it got worse.
My husband, God bless him, started to tell our neighbors that it was going to rain and rain and that the only way to escape was to get on his giant boat. I saw their faces. Why couldn’t he see what was coming? They laughed in his face. “What is rain, you crazy old man? Why should we be afraid of rain, whatever that is?”
I didn’t go to the well anymore. I sent one of my daughters-in-law. It was just too embarrassing. The whispered jokes. The pointing fingers. The eyes that wouldn’t meet mine. No, I stayed at home as much as possible.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it got worse.
The boat, the ark – that’s what my husband called it – was finished. My husband and my sons started packing it with food and water and all kinds of supplies. One day, out of curiosity, I took a look inside. There were rooms for people, but there were many, many stalls and cages and coops and hutches. What insanity was this?
And then animals began to arrive. Yes, that’s what I said. They began to arrive – no shepherd driving them, no keeper of any kind. They were just coming and getting on the ark. So strange. At first everyone stayed away. I stayed in the house. There were animals we’d never seen before – animals with sharp teeth and huge claws. But, after a couple of days of this, the neighbors came out to watch. Irene, my sister, came with her children. “Sister, what is going on? What is your husband doing?”
I didn’t know, but I knew that it wasn’t him who was gathering these animals. I was beginning to think that maybe God had talked to him. “Irene, I don’t know what is going on, but I think you better get your family ready to get on the ark with us.”
“You’ve got to be kidding! Are you as crazy as your husband? I’m not getting on that ark.”
And then the sky started to look different. Describing it is hard. Gray instead of blue. It looked…well, it looked angry.
My husband told us it was time to get on the ark. He said that God was going to save us. He said that God would take care of us. I still didn’t understand, but I was afraid. More afraid of staying in my house than I was afraid of all those animals on that big boat. My husband saw that I was afraid. When I was about to lose it, he took my face in his hands and looked in my eyes and he said, “God will provide for us. He will save us.”
And I believed him.
I packed the house up and we moved into the ark. The neighbors jeered at us as we went, but I said nothing. Just as I was about to go into the big door of the ark, something wet fell on my cheek. I touched the wet spot and then another drop fell. I looked up at the angry sky and, suddenly, my face was wet. Was this it? Was this rain?
My husband called out to our neighbors once more, begging them to come on the ark with us, promising that God would save them. They laughed, they yelled evil words, and a few threw clods of dirt and even stones.
We went in the ark, but that big door was still open. Just as I was about to ask how we would shut the door, it creaked and began to move. A chill went up my spine. No one was touching that door, but it was definitely closing.
As soon as the door completely closed and my sons latched it tight, there was a booming noise and then the sound of an avalanche of drops of water hitting the wood of the ark.
The next sound I heard was the most horrible sound I have ever heard. It was my neighbors, my friends, my family crying out for the door to be opened. My own sister was out there. My best friend was out there. Everything I had known was out there.
I caught my husband’s eyes on me and the peace I saw in his eyes instantly stopped the panic that had begun to well up in me. He believed God. He really believed God.
It was enough for me at that moment that my husband believed. But that was not the end.
The day that we knew the ark was floating. The day that I faced the fact that my sister and my friend were gone. The day that I realized those ferocious animals were not ferocious at all. The day we saw that our food supplies never seemed to diminish. The day that I realized that the stink that should be coming from such a huge company of animals and people was not happening. The day that I realized how much I loved my daughters-in-law. The day that I remembered that my husband was not crazy but was a very good man.
And then the day that God opened the door.
Sunshine, green grass, solid ground, safety, and a new start.
God had torn me away from everything I knew and depended on and He had given me something new. He had saved us and provided for us.
He had not talked to me the way he had talked to my husband, but He had shown me who He was and He had provided. No, He had not talked to me, but, like my husband, I believed!
This is the second story in the series, Through Her Eyes. Click here to see the first in the series.
Photography from Unsplash