Imagine surviving the innards of a fish. The gastric juices alone would do wonders for the skin!
The tale of Jonah is not interested in this detail (see Jonah 2:1-10). Ancient and forever symbolism holds before us the mystery of dark entombment as a liminal place between life and death, crucifixion and resurrection.
With Love To The World quotes Joan Chittister who says:
Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
and Barbara Brown Taylor who reflects, “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light. I need darkness as much as I need light.”
In dire circumstances, the recalcitrant Jonah draws on his reserve of spiritual resources and comes to a place of self-abandonment to God’s path of wholeness.
The fish-tomb is temporary. It spews Jonah onto the beach ( and no doubt swam off to tell it’s fish-friends about the “one that got away!”