Noah and Naamah made their daily journey to and from the Oasis, ever aware of the eyes of young and old that watched them leave. Noah suspected some of the Taller-men who had been present when he had rescued Naamah had told the others of his deeds that fateful morning. Naamah slipped her hand into her husband’s, feeling again the deep scar that had cut into his palm as he had dealt with the approaching chief. As the chief launched his attack, Noah reached out his hand, grabbed her and flung her into the tent skins nearby. Not looking at the advancing giant he continued to reach to the ground, closing his hand over the three iron spikes that were lying there. In a smooth fluid movement that had to be more instinctive than intended, he spun towards the attacking chief, pushed himself up from his crouched position and drove the spikes deep into the chest of the warrior chief. Such was the force of momentum behind the chief’s attack that Noah’s own hand was sliced deeply as he gripped the impaling spikes. The chief seemed to stumble, a look of utter disbelief spreading across his face at the same pace as his blood began to spread across his chest. Noah stepped aside, allowing the dying giant to fall at Naamah’s feet.
Turning to the stunned host of Taller-men Noah raised his bloodied hand, the spikes still encased in his closed fist, and cried out ‘Offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men listen to me. This message is not mine, but from the God who I serve. Repent! Stop your evil or die. Remember now the words of Lamech , father of this child, if someone who kills Cain or of his tribe is punished seven times, then the one who harms one of Lamech’s family will be punished seven times seven!’
As a mumbling growl began among the warriors, Noah turned calmly to Naamah, who was by now standing, staring in awe at the prone giant at her feet. Gathering the remains of the tent into his left hand, he held out his still bleeding right hand to her. She grasped it strongly and together they headed up the hill. Noah seemed to be leading her towards her father’s camp but she pulled back fiercely, shook her head firmly and led him over the hill towards the wilderness.
As Naamah watched Noah tending their flocks she gave heartfelt thanks to his God yet again for sending such a kind, strong, calm champion to deliver her from the Taller-men . Over the years Noah told her much about this one God whom he worshipped and served. Shortly after her rescue he had brought her to meet his family. She had met the wise old Methuselah and the frail and gentle Lamech. Methuselah had looked searchingly into her eyes when first they met. It felt as if he could see right into her soul. After what felt like the longest time, he winked at her and led her off to the top of a nearby hill. ‘You have the heart within you to do God’s will but have you the strength?’ Naamah had no good answer to such a strange question so she said nothing. This non-answer seemed to please the ancient one no end, he smiled and continued to speak, ‘My grandson has not yet learned of his destiny. I have not yet been released to share with him the vision God has shown me. It is terrifying and it will bring my kind and compassionate grandson to the very end of himself. It is then that he will need one beside him who will hold his hand and wipe away his tears.’ ‘Will you not be with him, wise grandfather?’ asked Naamah nervously. ‘No my child, not I!! My years are long and already fading. The future belongs to the young. You have known much terror and brokenness in your life my granddaughter.’ Naamah flinched at the reference to her shame, but Methuselah gently raised her downturned face and smiled warmly at her. ‘Do not be ashamed of the evil other men do, my child, my words are not looking to what is past but rather to what lies ahead. My grandson has set his heart on you. Yes, yes, he knows of your pain, but he also knows that you are so much more than what others think of you. He sees in you a kindred spirit, one who will share his load, who will accept him as he is, not as others would wish him to be. Time is short my child, so very short. My grandson wonders if you will be his bride!’ Of all the things she might have expected to hear that day, a proposal of marriage of equals was not only improbable, it would have seemed impossible.
In the days that followed she began to learn of Noah’s interest in her for many months. She hadn’t noticed his lingering distant presence as he watched her gathering water each evening. They both shed salt-rich tears when he told her of his failure to be there the day she was attaced due to the death of his grandmother. Their shared grief and anguish brought healing and their love deepened as they prepared for their wedding day. While none of her family would come, a gift of fine thick cloth was left outside her tent early one morning. No indication of who had delivered it but Naamah had recognized the weaving work, it was a gift from her mother.
Now as she and her husband settled the night fire, she looked at the tent, a mixture of animal skins and a thick woven cloth; all firmly held in place by three long sharp iron spikes which were dug deep into the rocky ground.