This week’s Torah portion includes the story of Noah’s Ark. At the heart of this ancient tale, we are presented with powerful blueprint of how to pull our lives together in the face of catastrophe, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, this message is particularly poignant.
Sudden loss of every kind presents overwhelming challenges for us to face and overcome. With the loss of loved ones, relationships, health and employment, it is very common to feel a flood of emotions roaring over us like a tidal wave. In some instances, even though it is only temporary, if can feel as if our world (or at least the world as we know it) has come to an end.
In truth, however, our world has not come to an end. It has simply been flooded, and as it is with Noah, so too it is with us. With faith in the future and with a few important strategies, we can and usually do survive the floodwaters of our lives.
For Noah, survival begins by taking action. Noah builds an ark and fills it with the seeds for renewal – two animals of every species which will repopulate the world when the flood waters ebb. For us, seeds for reborn hope can be found in family, friends and community. Each represents an important vehicle that can help us cross the daunting abyss of despair. And as the floodwaters in our lives eventually recede (literally and figuratively), these loving seeds of hope in our lives will shine as brightly as the covenant of the rainbow.