“Your doom’s declared! You have just forty days!”
the prophet spits his words with wrathful glee
with vitriolic hate in ev’ry phrase
he calls down curses on the enemy
But then the King of Ninevah decrees:
“Come! All my people weep and fast and pray
for maybe if the God of Jonah sees
He’ll grant us grace and turn his wrath away.”
“Too Late!” the prophet shrieks, “your fate is sealed!”
but God in Heaven has a different plan:
While there is breath, it’s not too late to yield
So Jonah sulks that God’s withheld his hand
The love of God he helped that city find
how was it then, he was, himself, so blind?
almost everyone knows the story of Jonah in the belly of the fish…but that was not the end of the story. My sonnet speaks of what happened a little while later. (Based on Jonah Chapter 3 and the first part of Chapter 4)
Jonah 3:1-5 and 10 is one of the readings for this coming week in the Revised Common Lectionary…and at my church this past Sunday, we discussed the phrase “speak the truth in love”. These influences made me think about how Jonah might have spoken the truth…but love was the last thing on his mind. How much better for Jonah this story might have been different if he had spoken with compassion, grace, and love!