Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dark Parable: Jonah

Yesterday I got up and this image came into my mind of a cartoon I'd like to make of the prophet Jonah. It wouldn't really mention Jonah but it would have one scene where God's hand forms a great fish. We see the full-blown creature being prepared by God's hand, then swimming in the ocean, then swallowing a man. The man hangs out in the great fish' stomach, squnched in the stomach, then we see the man more and more squeezed then the man is vomitted out on dry land. The scene shifts to the man again, sitting on a hill. The hand of God planting a seed and we see this seed growing into a large beuatiful plant with large leaves shading the man. Then we see God's hand preparing a little worm. We see this worm crawling into the beautiful plant and eating and destroying the plant. We slowly see the plant wilting over the prophet and dying. And the prophet grieving. Then we see the worm die. All the while we see the animals of Ninevah in the background.

Well, totally weirdly. I mention this idea to look about this animation I want to make and then later on yesterday afternoon hubby turns on the TV to some preacher he didn't know and I didn't know. And what does the man talk about? God preparing/appointing the whale, the gourd plant, the worm, and the wind. (I hadn't thought about the wind in my meditation/vision.) But it seemed so weird. He talked about going out to people we don't want to go out to and having spiritual appointments from God we don't like because we rebel.

I'm sure it must mean something. It was just very weird. Of course we saw this sermon just after older son slammed me for being on facebook. But not sure what that's about? Weird to feel God is talking to you but not quite knowing about what. Maybe to accept certain things in life as appointed from God.

What impressed me was God's creativity in dealing with Jonah. He created so many natural elements to deal with Jonah. I wasn't even thinking of anything else. (I suspect I really don't want to think of having to go to people I don't particularly like.) I always considered Jonah a lover of nature, a prophet who was not particularly impressed with humans because he knew them inside and out. A real cynic. But he loved animals and the only way God could even get him to care about nineveh was to remind him of the animals who would die. Because Jonah would care about that. Jonah loved creativity, especially the creativity of animals. He loved the gourd.

The things were created specifically for jonah. To swallow him, to cover him, to destroy what blessed him, to bring extra heat on him. The whale is an enclosing trial but it protects Jonah from the even greater trial of the dangerous sea. The gourd is a temporary beautiful shelter that is not permanent. The worm is that thing appointed to destroy the temporary shelter we've gotten used to. Then the hot wind is to bring us back to reality. I wonder about the natural elements and how they'll be used to judge the world. Tornadoes, hurricanes, strange animals, extreme heat, etc.

Weirdly, about a month ago I was reading the story of Lot's wife and pondering how sad it must've been for her to leave her two married daughters and their fiances in burning Sodom and her home town. And I picked up a Bible study to read...just off the cuff...and opened to it and the author had written, "Now, if the Lord called you to leave your town and family and all you knew, would you be like Lot's wife? Or would you be unable to leave all behind and not regret or miss your home?" I said, "Lord, I could leave." But I wasn't too thrilled with my city at that time. Then for the following days I realized I really love my town and my friends and it would be horrible to leave them behind. Whether for another town, or in a kind of rapture situation. I suspect that many of us are like Lot's wife. If we are founded worthy to be taken from the wrath to come, we will have to look at so many folks we loved -- and even family members-- who are left on the wrath-covered earth.

Still not quite clear. But will see. Will definitely try to forgive my enemies and be prepared to go where God wants me to go.

-C
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