At that time we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment in Orem, Utah. I enlisted my friend, Ed, from work. He helped me, with his table saw, and we cut out all the pieces at the proper angles to build the Ark. When we were done he told me I was on my own because he didn't paint anything smaller than a wall. So I went home and assembled the boat. I bought craft paints and painted the boat. I then got busy in life and had no animals completed when Christmas Eve rolled around.
So I started that morning tracing the animal patterns on 1/2 inch lumber. Then I manfully pulled out the only power tool I owned, a small Black & Decker jigsaw I had picked up at a pawn shop. I hacked up a 1/4 of my wood and destroyed countless animals bringing me to the brink of profanity.
Then as I listened to the Christmas music coming from inside the apartment, I began to look at my task differently. I remembered I was doing this because I loved my wife. That calmed me significantly. I then started thinking about Jesus. It almost made me laugh to see how frustrated I had become. I retraced the animals I had butchered and began again with thoughts of Christmas.
I began to think about the significance of the baby that came to earth so long ago and who He really was. My mind fixed on the fact that He was the great creator. As I focused on this I began to think how much harder it would be to create a living breathing cow than to just cut one out of wood.
Suddenly, my task seemed a little less daunting. So I began again.
I started with the giraffes because they had the longest lines and the gentlest curves to cut. Then I moved to the hippos and the elephants. I hit the sheep along the way. I was caught up in thoughts of how Jesus was to be the Lamb of God.
Finally, I came to the hardest animal; the lion with his flowing mane. I took it very slow and tried to follow the lines exactly. When I finished I wasn't sure if it looked like a lion, but I figured paint would have to work a miracle.
I continued to paint the animals even after Des and Woody were sleeping and sure enough, after they were painted I could tell what they were. I let them dry for a little while and then I couldn't help myself.
I started playing with them. I marched them up the gangplank and stationed them at various positions on the boat. I was touched with the thought that the alligators were going to sleep with the pigs and yes, indeed, the lions would lay down with the lambs. I began again to marvel at the things the Lord had done and the great condescension of His coming to earth as a baby. I felt humbled that He came to a stable among the gentle creatures setting aside His birthright to make salvation possible for all men. It's funny how each year at Christmas we learn a little bit more about the Lord, and hopefully about ourselves.
That ark still sits in our family room. I've had to glue a tail back on a gator and a head back on a giraffe and sundry other reattachment procedures. The paint is a little scuffed, but you can still tell what all the animals are. And when my heart is troubled I can still pull it down and ask the lion with the flowing mane to walk peacefully with the fluffy lamb. Then for a short time in my heart and mind, there truly is
Peace on Earth."
I want you to know, that I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior.