I’ve been thinking a lot about rain, flood waters, and the need for an ark. If you lived here, you would understand that it doesn’t take too creative a mind to be thinking as I am. We’ve had rain—lots and lots of rain. One local man commented this morning that we’ve had over ten inches in the past couple of weeks. The Kentucky River, which borders our county, and the Ohio just a few miles north of us are both above flood stage and rising. Our town is one of the higher points in Henry County and our house sits on a rise in our town. Yet, this past weekend we had water standing around the house, not just in the low spots in the lawn. It’s wet!

Part of my thinking has carried me back to my childhood. I grew up in the southeastern portion of Missouri—an area known as the Bootheel. Prior to the late 1800’s, the area was a swamp. My dad had photographs from the period when the Corps of Engineers came into the area to build a series of canals—floodway ditches, we called them—to drain the area and make fit for human habitation. In spite of those canals, flooding remained a common experience in my childhood.

Our home and farm was not far from the Mississippi River to our east and the St. Francis River to our north and west. In the mid-fifties, we awoke one morning to our house totally surrounded by water—water as far as the eye could see. It was an adventure for me. My Uncle Rayvon Knapp rowed up to our house and Dad let me go with him and Uncle Rayvon in the rowboat. We traveled around the area, never seeing land or a road. We were in a world of water. The rowboat was one that Dad and Uncle Rayvon had built for duck hunting. It was made in part from old church pews—Cypress wood, maybe. I’m older now and flooding may still be adventuresome but it is no longer fun.

While our town is safe from major flooding, parts of our county is not. I posted on Facebook this morning the following message: “If you are not already on the ark, it may be too late!” A friend replied wondering which one of us would not make it aboard.

Like you, I’ve read the story of Noah, his ark, and the flood; but until my friend responded this morning, I hadn’t thought about what it must have been like to see the water rising and to finally decide that the crazy neighbor who was building a boat had it right, only to arrive and find the ark sealed and all boarding passes canceled. Some made it; most did not. Wow! To be saved only to see neighbors left behind. It’s a scene I’d rather forget.

My friend’s query gave rise to a new thought. There is a new ark and the rules for boarding have been changed. On the new ark all who come are welcome. Boarding passes have been issued for all. None need be left behind.

The rule change must have something to do with an empty tomb. Halleluiah!

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