Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
shall not cease.’
The story of Noah and the Ark is common to most: God was disgusted by humanity and our cruelties and sinfulness so God set to destroy the earth with a flood, saving this one family and two of each kind of creature, and God made a sign and promise with a rainbow that never again would God destroy the earth and it's creatures. This last bit of the story is especially telling, God realizes that the human heart contains evil within it. At our creation God decreed us good, very good. Yet, after the flood, after God's anger disipated there was a realization that we were not entirely pure of heart, that a seed of brokeness exists within us. Despite this brokenness, this seed of evil God is still apologetic. It is as though God experiences a new realization that despite our brokeness God still loves us.
My biggest fear used to be that God was disgusted with us and had walked away from creation. A dose of the nightly news with all it's violence and tragedies can easily lead one to wonder where God is in the midst of this crazy world. The news rarely covers moments of grace, rarely do they feature people who reach out in love and earnestness, helping others when they have little to nothing themselves. The news does not cover grace, but we who profess to follow the Christ, we must not only keep our eyes watching for moments of grace but we get to participate in grace, we get to be the evidence that God has not left the planet.
Every time I witness love in action, I remember the promise of the rainbow--God is not finished with us yet. Thanks be to God!