Poetry: Jonah’s Story

Poem by Ruth Callaghan do Valle

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

“No way!” Joe said

“I’ll put some space between us.”

But you know, the thing is

He spoke to the One who

Spoke space into being

Of course He could see 

The end from the beginning

And meet Joe in the place

He was hidden, unbidden

Joe boarded a ship and was

Well on his way but there

In the storm that overcame them

The sailors saw the spray flung high

And knowing they would surely die

Called on their gods to save them 

Joe, now aware he should never have

Dared defy his God, offered his life

That the ship might be spared

And with wonder and awe the sailors saw

The sea grow calm, disarmed

As Joe sank through the waves

Not to a watery grave as he thought

But saved, swallowed, caught 

Inside the mighty fish that caught him

Joe and his God get talking

They speak, and three nights after

The storm and disaster 

Joe’s hurled on a beach 

Grasping his second chance in both hands

He lands

And there proclaims what God has said

That He hates the iniquity of this great city 

Which is always before Him

And in just forty days

His justice displayed

He’ll wipe it clean

And the city will stand there no more

Knowing what’s in store 

They turn from their sin

The beggar to the King 

And turn to the Lord, begging for mercy

For God to look graciously

And have great pity on their poor city

God, in His compassion

Relents from His intention

To throw them to destruction 

And pardons them

But Joe, now angry, argues

Joe heard God’s heart for other nations

And from the start 

He was quick off his mark

To make a break for it

Plan his escape from it

But understand the undertaking

It’s a kingdom that He’s making 

Fast-forward to Revelation 

There’s a multitude of nations gathered there

And round the the throne

A people for His own will stand, unmanned 

And seeing our God face to face 

Will fall face down

And throw their crowns before Him

Praising, rejoicing and giving Him glory

About Ruth Callaghan do Valle

Callaghan do Valle occasionally finds time to think during her daughter’s naptimes. She writes in English with forays into Portuguese, and lives in small-town rural Brazil with her husband and toddler. You can find Ruth’s spoken word on YouTube.

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