The story of Noah and the ark has taken a prominent place in children's literature. Many stories have been written for children about all aspects of the flood - life on the ark, the dove and the olive branch, and the rainbow. It's a beautiful story.
But something happened last week to help me understand the story in a more profound way. I visited with a family in the hospital that had to confront very dire news. It's as if the world as they know it is falling apart. How does one respond in such a situation? Succumb to the flood waters or fight?
God provides Noah with step by step instructions on how to survive the destruction. "Take the wood, build it like this, get the animals", etc. Noah floated through the destroyed world until he felt the ark rest. And he left the ark only after he saw that life had been restored. Noah left on his own terms, when he was ready to face the new reality.
When we face tragedy we immediately feel overwhelmed. But if we are presented with a plan that enables us to restore routine then that sense of the familiar becomes invaluable to surviving and moving on.
Let us hope that we have family and friends who will be there for us and that we have tools and resources at hand to help others and help ourselves. May we also always be able to perceive the rainbow of blessing.