The hammer fell heavily upon the wood peg driving the two timbers together. Shem knelt to examine their tightness. Finished, he thought as he let the tool slip from his grasp. He exhaled at length as he looked up to search for his father among the men. Noah was bent over a sheet of parchment, scratching figures, scratching his head and scratching more figures. Shem could see that his father was determined to squeeze a bit more work out of his boys before the end of the day, so he picked up his hammer.
A seated mob gathered behind Shem. Typically they showed up in the evening hours to observe the progress, discuss and jeer. Sometimes jokes were flung into the air to provoke a reaction from the men and women of Noah’s family. But, it had been over a year now since the work began and the jeering and jokes diminished considerably. Anything that could be said had already been said. Now the crowds mostly gathered to gawk. The large ark had entertainment value. Shem even thought he saw a few onlookers nervously surveying the skies. Probably just his imagination. The idea of water coming out of the skies was a great stretch for his own mind. But, he trusted the word of his father and his father’s humble God. The God of Noah was not imperialistic or egotistic like the gods and idols of the pagan cultures surrounding them. The God of Noah was the original Creator of humanity. And this God carried a deep respect and sanctified attitude towards Life. The Humble God was most concerned with saving and preserving the holiness of the Life He had created. The long distance of understanding between God and man was felt in every fiber of Shem’s flesh. Nevertheless, as his great grandfather Adam had spoken of the Divine connection he once possessed with this Great God, Shem could also feel the calling to be with the Creator of mankind in a new and personal way. It was this that compelled Shem to believe his father’s testimony of a substance called rain. Noah spoke to this Great God. Mutual respect was sensed in his father’s speech. God wanted man to be preserved. Shem believed that it was God’s every intention to reinstate a condition of holiness at some point in man’s history. But at this point, God would save every believing man and women from the destruction of things that had come to hate holiness and Life. …if they would believe in Noah’s testimony.
Shem’s wife passed through the work zone, dodging tools and offering drinks of cool water. He smiled affectionately as she drew nearer his place. These were the moments that stirred up his faith. Life, her life, was precious. It was worth his honor and respect. Shem lifted his eyes upward. It would not rain today. The ark was not yet completed. God was waiting for its completion. …and perhaps, another soul’s repentance.