Genesis 9:8-17

I’ve often wondered why some parents choose a Noah’s Ark theme to
decorate their child’s nursery. I’ve never quite worked up the courage
to ask, “Do you know what happened to the rest of the animals and
people who didn’t get on the ark?”

Perhaps they see the animal-laden ark as a talisman of sorts, a
decorative prayer that their child will find safety in the midst of life’s
storms. Maybe they believe the ark is a symbol that we can survive
anything that rocks us (though Noah’s drunken disembarkment in
verse 21 might make us question what kind of survival we’re in for).

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, poet Damian Barr
wrote: “I heard that we are in the same boat. But it’s not that. We are
in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be ship-
wrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.”

At times our journey with God might include a boat. And, as Barr
elaborated, “Some of us are on super-yachts. Some have just the one
oar.” Waves can feel a lot differently depending on the size of your

We do well not to judge one another’s story of the voyage. I
suspect that if we found ourselves bailing water instead of lounging
on the lido deck, we might not be so quick to comment on how
another person’s journey is going.

Maybe it’s best if we limit our shouts across the bow to the simple
invitation to “Come aboard.”


Think about the last storm you went through. What was something someone said that was incredibly helpful to you? What did someone say that you wish they had not?


Lord, at church camp we sing, “With Jesus in your boat you can smile through the storm.” Our silly little ditty holds truth. May we trust in you when the storms of life overwhelm us. Amen.

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