Title: The Flood
Artist: Antonio Carracci (Antoine Carrache)
Date: Between 1615 and 1618
Medium: Oil on canvas
Location: The Louvre, Paris
Dimensions: Height—1.66m; width—2.47m
You created us.
You molded us, took formless clay and gave it form.
You rose Adam from the dust, and rose Eve from Adam.
You breathed life into our lifeless bodies.
Your very essence You shared with us.
You looked into your quintessential mirror; You studied Yourself,
And You made us to look like You. We were to be Your image on Earth, amongst wild
creatures that did not have the privilege of carrying Your likeness.
We were stunningly beautiful, perfectly good.
You gave us a home in a garden.
You surrounded us with beauty, with color, with living things.
You walked with us in the garden, and we loved the sound of Your footsteps coming near.
We lived without shame, tears, pain. In other words, we lived with You.
You gave us one rule: Do not eat from this single tree.
We didn’t listen.
We broke the one rule you gave us.
We rebelled, we fell, we chose
You were heartbroken, heartbroken.
You exiled us from the paradise You had longed to share with us forever.
You sent us into the wilderness, grieved by our rebellion.
The punishment You promised, You gave.
We lived in the darkness of that punishment and hated it, but we did not seek to return to Your light.
We feared the sound of Your footsteps coming near.
And, like little children punished for throwing rocks, we threw heavier and bigger rocks to spite You.
We spat in the face of You who created us. We mocked You. We ran, fled from Your presence.
The seed of evil, planted in our hearts from that first apple, grew roots and vines.
It overcame our bodies.
We were no longer the stunningly beautiful, perfectly good creatures You had created us to be.
We were puppets of Satan, and we did his work obediently.
Wicked, that’s what You called us.
You cried tears of agony and regret.
You thought to wipe us off the face of the planet, for we were no longer Yours.
But You still longed for us, even though we had betrayed You, over and over and over again.
You still wanted us.
So You chose one righteous man, Noah, to remain on Earth and father the next generation.
You protected each species of animals. You sent them to safety on the boat Noah dutifully built.
And then you sent the flood.
Water came like a Holy fire, destroying all that was in its path.
Our bodies broke beneath the waves, our children cried, our lungs collapsed.
We screamed, wept, climbed, ran, prayed, tried desperately to escape the water’s reach.
But it was not to be beaten.
You were not to be beaten.
You wanted us, but not the evil that had grown inside us.
And we were overcome by evil, so we needed to be wiped away.
You watched, heartbroken, as our diseased bodies were crushed by the water You sent.
You watched, heartbroken, as Your once beautiful creations, besmirched by sin, were washed into oblivion.
In grief and love, You promised to never destroy us like this again.
And we know from experience that You keep Your promises.
Thank You for wanting us enough to save us.
Thank You for fighting for us, when we fought against You.
Thank You for loving us
As only You can.
Carracci, Antonio. The Flood. 1615. The Louvre, Paris. Louvre.fr. The Louvre Museum. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.