Dear Mother of Jonah,
We have never met, you and I, but I feel a certain kinship with you. Here’s why: we’ve both had running-away boys.
You’ve never heard of my son, but I’ve certainly heard about yours. I know that God tapped him for a really important job, and I know that he said, “Nope. I don’t wanna,” and I know that he took off a-kitin’.
What happened with your kid is that he hopped in a boat and hauled tail. I mean, literally sailed away. Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton weren’t there to sing a ballad about it, that’s for sure, because it wasn’t a romantic kind of deal. It was a middle-finger-at-the-Almighty kind of deal; a screw-those-wretched-Ninevites thing, if you’ll pardon my language. It sure was.
Of course, you can only run so far from the Almighty before He hems you in, trips you up, shakes you down. As your son found out.
For him, it was a fish.
If three days in a dank gastric tract fightin’ seaweed won’t do it, I do not know what will. But it worked. He repented thoroughly, naming every sin he’d ever sinned (possibly including a fib he told you once involving some cookies).
Then, “Send this fish some syrup of ipecac,” he prayed. A hiccup, a burp, and he was a pile of whale vomit on the beach, rarin’ to enlighten the heathens about their sinning ways.
Here’s where my own son comes in. Just like yours, my boy has a mighty call on his life. A big one. And just like yours, he said, “Nope. I don’t wanna,” and he ran.
Unlike yours, though, it didn’t take a fish. It took a policeman and a jail cell. (Come to think of it, those two places are not unalike, that whale belly and a stinkin’ cell, and God holds the keys for them both. So there’s that.)
Anyway. The point is that just like He cleaned your son up and set his feet on a righteous path, He’s doing the same thing for mine. Somewhere, there are people who need to hear from my son about the grace and mercy of God–just like they heard it from yours–and they will.
Yes, they will because Jonah’s God is Jordan’s God, and He’s the King of Clean-ups and New Lives. That’s why you and I will always give praise and our undying gratitude to the One Who knew all along just where our kids were and how to catch them.
I could envy you a bit, for surely you have already met some of the fruits of your son’s own calling, some transformed Ninevites who are in heaven because he obeyed. By faith, my heart knows that such fruit will await me in heaven as well.
It’s been worth it, hasn’t it, because the God of our sons is all-worthy? Yes, it surely has.
Another mother of a kid that God caught