Naamah (Genesis 6-9)
The ground was soft beneath her feet as she took her first steps off the gangplank. The mud sucks against her as she struggles to keep her balance, clutching her precious cargo closer to her body. The ground squelches loudly as she moves slowly away from the vessel that has been her home for a year. Pausing for a moment, she looks backwards at the ark, now sunk deep in the mud.
Sighing, she turns away from the ark. Her eyes now begin to scan the horizon. She is looking for something, or more accurately, some place. “Too wet,” she mumbles. “Not enough sun.” Her brow furrows as she continues to gaze across the muddy landscape. Suddenly, her face alights with joy. There it is, the perfect spot.
Her feet have sunk deeper into the mud and she struggles to lift them free. Slowly, she moves forward, heading toward a small incline. As she climbs, the mud becomes more shallow, eventually giving way to rich, brown soil. As she reaches the crest of the small hill, she stops, breathing heavily from the climb. Gently, she places her precious cargo on the ground.
“My friend,” she says, “you are home.”
Dropping to the earth, she pulls out a small spade and begins to dig. Deeper and deeper she digs, piling the rich soil at her side. At last she sits back on her heels and draws a deep breath. It has been so long since she felt solid earth beneath her and felt the rich, brown earth between her fingers.
She felt the warm sun on her face as a gentle breeze kissed her sweaty brow. She closed her eyes, allowing the memory of another sunny day long ago to rise within her.
The voice echoed again in heart and mind as the words it spoke washed over her again.
“The world is full of so much hate and malice.” The voice said sadly. “It has broken my heart.
“But you, Naamah, you and your husband Noah, your hearts are so full of love. You and your family bring me joy. Together, we will start anew.
“Build an ark,” the voice instructed. “Build it of strong wood with a solid roof and wide door. Then, Noah, go and collect two of every living creature; animals, birds, and insects. Bring them into the ark, along with a large supply of food for you and all of them. Prepare yourselves, for the rains are coming.
Then the voice spoke directly to her, “Naamah, my daughter, go and collect seeds from every green and growing thing and bring them safely into the ark. They are not food; they are your garden, our garden. You will tend them and keep them safe. When the day comes, you will plant them in the rich, brown earth and they will grow again.”
As the memory faded her heart soared. Reaching out, she gently lifted the strong, young sapling out of the pot she had carried with her from the ark. Gently she placed her precious cargo into the hole she had dug, filling the space around the small tree with the rich, brown earth. She stood to her feet and gazed at the little willow tree, which she had tended and cared for this last year. The first leg of her mission was complete. She reached into small bag that hung from her shoulder, pulling out a handful of small seeds. The next was just beginning.
Questions to ponder
What was your favorite part of the story?
Where did you see God in the story?
What is God inviting you to try on today in light of the story?
*Naamah is the traditional name of Noah’s wife
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