18 – Jonah and the Whale

I purchased a wood lathe in July 2020.  That fall, I was trying to think of ways to use my wood lathe in creating my next Bible Stick.  One idea that hit me (and again, these ideas that hit me are definitely from God) was to hollow out the center of a dowel rod.  So in November 2020, that is what I began to do. I cut the dowel into 6-inch sections, made a special jig to hold the small dowel on my wood lathe, then hollow out each section separately.  Once all the pieces were hollowed out, I glued them back together as one 3-foot dowel. 

Knowing how fragile this segmented dowel would be, I purchased another 3-foot dowel, 1 inch diameter, that would slide the full length into the walnut dowel.  It was an oak dowel, which would give the walnut dowel extra strength, plus be a contrasting color.  Walnut is dark brown, oak is white in color.  Now I could carve into the walnut, revealing the oak underneath.  Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale, this Bible Stick has a separate piece that will slide into the “belly” of the stick.

I decided to create in this stick the story of Jonah and the Whale. I carved out the letters of Jonah and Whale, revealing the beautiful oak wood underneath the letters.  And then I explain, actually, it was a Big Fish.

I have six phrases that describe each section.  They continue on like one long sentence.  The six phrases are:

      …and God spoke to Jonah …Jonah fled for Tarshish …a whale swallowed Jonah

      …then Jonah prayed to God …and the people repented …but Jonah became angry

While on the ship, the Lord sends a great storm.  As the ship is being tossed back and forth by the waves, you will see a whale (the great fish) in the distance, watching closely and waiting for dinner!

When Jonah suggests that they throw him overboard, he is being tossed into the sea before he can even finish the sentence.  There, waiting for his feast was the whale, his mouth wide open and thinking to himself, “yum!”.

Now we find Jonah in the belly of the whale, praying to God and surrounded by whale ribs above. He is floating in a pool of sea water with fish bones and acid bubbles.  Jonah’s prayer was as sincere as ever, “I call out to you Lord and will do what you ask. Salvation comes from you Lord, Amen.”

Three days later, Jonah is tossed from the whale onto dry land.  You will see the whale had a little indigestion with an appropriate “burp.”  Jonah’s ends up in the city of Nineveh, preaching to the people. They in turn to God and repent of their evil deeds.  But Jonah became angry.  He was really hoping God would destroy the city.

One other feature that makes this stick very unique is the light inside.  Since it was hollow inside, I thought a light would be a nice addition.  That way you could see the carvings that go deep into the wood a lot easier. 

This stick took me three months to carve.  I found myself using power tools more and more, especially the wood lathe.  I finished it in January 2021.