A sailor’s letter home, part three

(This finishes the story started in part one and part two)

But the storm got worse.

Praying to our gods hadn’t done anything. We prayed to Jonah’s.

“We don’t want to die because of his sin, God. That’s not fair. But we don’t want to die for sacrificing him to you either. That’s not fair. This is between you and him, for your good reasons which we don’t know. But let this sacrifice appease you.”

And then we grabbed his hands and arms and half-dragged, half-tossed him into the Great Sea.

Just as fast as the storm had started, it stopped. The surface was like glass.

I couldn’t see what happened to Jonah. A couple other sailors thought they saw something flashing near where he must have gone down. But who knows.

What we did know is that whatever god made the storm happen must have been satisfied by doing as Jonah said. And immediately we all promised that we’d serve that God. We looked around at what little was left on the boat. We found some incense and offered a little sacrifice.

I wish I knew more about him. Jonah, that is. I’m still a little mad that his running from God almost got the rest of us killed. But I did see power like I’ve never seen before. And he was confident. Even though he was running, he acted like this God was real and specific and intentional.

I’m not sure what I’ll do now about gods. Maybe the next time I’m in Joppa I’ll find someone who knows about this God of Jonah. And I’m trying to figure out how not to run from him.

+++

So we’ve been looking at part of the Jonah story for the past few days. We used a different perspective to examine it, that of one of the sailors.

I’d like to invite you to think about it from yet another perspective.

There was a smaller boat once, on a smaller sea. There were sailors, there was an unexpected passenger. There was a storm and a sudden calming and God and terror afterward.

I’m curious. What are the connections between the stories?

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

2 thoughts on “A sailor’s letter home, part three

  1. Speaking as a former Merchant Navy man I have been through many storms. Or should I say, God has brought me safely through the storms. I think that is the link. God doesn’t necessarily promise to make the storm go away, but He does promise to be there with us and bring us through it. Where we go wrong is when we forget He is with us, blame Him for the storm, or expect Him to do something about it that is not part of His plan.

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