I feel so “related” to the prophet Jonah. When I think back on when my sister Jill really started to decline, I didn’t want to help her – not emotionally, financially or otherwise. We had never gotten along and were so different. I was angry that I was the one being called to help, since the other sisters had passed away already. Like Jonah, I tried to run away from my responsibility, because helping Jill meant setting aside my life, doing what I wanted to do. I tried to “distance” myself as much as I could from any true relationship with her until I couldn’t anymore.
I never saw the big fish that Jonah knew and wasn’t thrown up onto the shore near Nineveh, but I might as well have been. As time went on, I accepted my calling, as Jonah did, because who can fight God? He is so much bigger, stronger and wiser than we are. Now that Jill has passed away and is safely “home”, I am grateful for what God called me to do.
I am thinking that some of Jonah’s story is missing? We never read about Jonah saying “thank you” to God for giving him the mission of assisting Him in His important work of salvation or accompanying Jonah on Jonah’s epic journey. To my storyteller mind, that would have been the perfect ending. That was the ending in my version of the Jonah story, as it is with much gratitude that I came to know my sister Jill in those last years and found out what an amazing person and gift to others Jill really was and is. And in the process of completing my mission, God changed my heart and gave me a little glimpse of His own.