June 4, 2017
The sea was churning. The ship was strained, the mast creaking, the men crying. A tempest of incomparable strength had declared war against a fugitive prophet. Thunder cannoned. Lightning streaks pulsed through the pounding clouds. Rain and hail fired at the crew members, clicking loudly on deck, pinging off iron chests, and popping bewildered victims. The wind punched the ship with gusts of fury.
The physical strain with tons of atmospheric energy and unstoppable restraint was too much for mere men. Their emotions were siphoned more each second as the sea revealed more and more terror with each slapping wave. Their resolve spent, they took the fugitive prophet and cast him overboard. They hadn’t wanted to do this; they feverishly exhausted themselves rowing with no progress. So, desperation’s lot was chosen. The last possible selection on the list of human reasoning was mournfully chosen. And as soon as they baptized Jonah in the sea of justice, the raging stopped. Clouds cleared. Angry winds peacefully quieted. Waves decreased from monstrous peaks to harmless ripples.
Jonah hit the water like a millstone. He sunk fast. Every blink of his eyes envisioned a darker portion of the vacuuming depths. Darkness hugged him tight. Death swirled around him. A thousand split second thoughts, regrets, and should-have-been alternatives haunted him. He inhaled water and exhaled muffled screams, gurgling prayers, salty intercession; and for some reason he wasn’t drowning; as he blacked in and out of consciousness he wondered why death had not already claimed him. Maybe even death was rejecting him and he would just live stranded at the bottom of the sea embraced by cord tight sea weed.
He saw something giant out of the corner of his eye. It swept passed him, around him, and then under him. Its cavernous mouth opened. It a moment he was gulped up by the whale, not knowing that this very whale had been anointed by God Himself to be his undersea prayer room. Prayer would decide in the next few days whether Jonah would be digested or delivered.
Enveloped in the fish fragments and gastric stench of the whale’s belly, Jonah began to pray.