Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Loneliness...

The reflection he saw starring back, was not the same as the one he remembered...one year ago...

As the sunlight glistened off the water, the whales danced in the sea...the deer drank from a nearby brook...the birds sang overhead...and the image of the rainbow was still fresh in his mind.

He was surrounded by a symphony of sounds as the animals explored their new home...running...playing...laughing. Nearby, his sons and their wives frolicked in the fields that emerged from what once...just weeks ago...was an endless ocean...stretching over the horizon, as far as the eye could see. Yet, the silence was deafening...

The water was receding...grass was beginning to sprout...the mighty oak and pine were mere seedlings. The mountains were reaching their way toward heaven as if to touch the mighty hand of the One who was reshaping the earth...reshaping mankind...reshaping him.

His mind drifts back...back just one year ago...and he remembers the sounds that echoed throughout the town. Sounds of the blacksmith's hammer against his anvil...the bartering at the marketplace...the smell of fresh baked bread. He understands that what happened, had to happen. He understands that his family was hand picked to re-establish, re-populate the world...a new world. He knows full well that he was chosen as the intregal part of what will be the great biblical 'do-over'. Noah, was God's Man...His chosen man...His only man.

How I can imagine there were days that Noah longed for other adults...other men...trusted friends. I imagine there were days, if not weeks or months that his heart ached for simple conversation with others...someone other than his family. Those first few years after the flood were, quite possibly, the loneliest years of all mankind. However, Noah knew something that saved him from drowning in this sea of loneliness. Noah had a secret...a peace...a comfort that was buried in the very depths of his soul. He knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that whenever, wherever, God was ALWAYS at his side. ALWAYS. From the moment that God had handed him the blueprints for the ark till the moment that he drew his last breath on earth, Noah had a constant companion...a forever friend...Noah walked with God.

I understand loneliness. I understand what it's like to only have your immediate family. I sometimes understand what was going through Noah's mind when he would take long walks by himself...long walks to get away...long walks to be able to scream at the top of his lungs in hopes to escape the pain of loneliness...to take long walks with God. And it was in these moments that, in the darkness of the hour, Noah would once again hear that soft, gentle voice...that voice that says "It's OK, I am here, I am with you, always". It's that same voice that David heard and the same presence he felt as he wrestled with fear and loneliness...'Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.' (Psalm 23:4)

"Father, hear my cry...bathe me in Your presence...calm my sea of fears...be my constant companion...amen."

The world is much different, now, than in the days of Noah...then again, things are still the same. I can still smell fresh bread baking...rich coffee brewing...reflections in the water...and I can still hear that same gentle Voice...

5 comments:

Tammie S. said...

Thanks Jim, I needed to read this. I, too, feel lonely a lot. I don't really have any close friends except my family. But that's ok because God is always there for me.

TJ said...

That's what I like to call "getting so alone.... you're not alone anymore!"

Jimmy Way Out In West Texas said...

Oh Boy can I ever identify with that one. My family and I are starting over, new career for me, new church for the family. Like Noah I often long for an adult conversation with someone other than my spouse (wonderful as she is) or a conversation that doesn't involve our previous church experience. I can identify with spending time with God just to here is voice -- my problem is that voice once loud and clear is now often so faint I can barely hear it -------

Jimmy Way Out In West Texas said...

Another comment, Don't mean to detract from your poetic musing, But, I imagine Noah was pretty lonely before the flood as well. Think about it -- He was the only man on the planet that feared God. Surrounded by immorality he must have felt very alone in his faith. Plus, he was building a boat and preaching about a flood in a land where it had never even rained! The people must have thought he was crazy! Talk about lonely, a single crazy religious fanatic in a world filled with sin.
Ever feel like that?

Jim said...

I am soooo there......