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Jesus walking in storms

by davesandel on August 3rd, 2021

Tuesday, August 3, 2021                                (today’s lectionary)

Jesus walking in storms

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit in me.

Charlie and Tina brought some wonderful food last night for us to eat. They signed up on Margaret’s “Meal Train,” and we set up a very nice table to eat their perfect pork tenderloin, rice, fruit and cheese. It was amazing. We ate everything we put on our plates.

I was especially glad they brought some food, because I was in a crummy, adversarial mood. The Demanding Spirit got the better of me. Our home health folks were communicating poorly with each other and with us, and I turned self-righteous.

Sometimes that would happen even in the hospital, and as Margaret’s Advocate I am sure I crossed the line at times then too, seeing our situation from one point of view only – ours. Or, I really should say, mine.

Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

For just a moment while I was cleaning up the dishes, God broke into my frustration and I saw things from their point of view. They felt worse than we did about their breakdown, and I could have showed a little understanding, done a bit of reflective listening, even said nothing instead of blowing up. My come-to-Jesus moment needed to last longer, but it helped some. At least now I can write about this instead of just feeling warm in the cheek and hot in the head.

The disciples’ boat, a few miles offshore, was being tossed by the waves, for the wind was against it.

And I have to say my “madness” helped me have an insight. I realize that the storms on the Sea of Galilee might be like the storms in my brain. They both blow up in a moment, and after they have blown themselves out, they settle down just as fast.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. He was afraid and began to sink, but Jesus caught him. After they got into the boat, the wind died down.

When Jesus walks into either storm, it makes all the difference in the world. I try to walk on water, like Peter, knowing Jesus will see my point of view. But then, surprise, he doesn’t quite see it after all, and I doubt myself at last, and “begin” to sink. In water you don’t “begin” to sink, but in my frenzied brain storms that language is accurate.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses. “Is it through Moses alone that the Lord speaks? Does he not speak through us also?”

I don’t usually stay submerged for long, and now I know why. Jesus “stretches out his hand and catches me.” I get it. Unlike Miriam and Aaron, who fell headlong into their confused storm of jealousy, Jesus catches me.

Moses was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth. The Lord called, “Come out, you three, to the meeting tent.”

Jesus didn’t catch them. Yahweh stormed at them in anger, and left Miriam a “snow-white leper.” Jesus was quiet, but Moses did his best to plead for Miriam. “Please, not this! Pray, heal her!” And after seven days of life outside the camp, Miriam was healed.

Whether the leprosy is physical or mental, those seven days are God-sent. Without those seven days, I get back in the boat without learning very much or very deeply. Without them, there’s just not enough time for reflection, remorse and repentance. That’s why some of us make retreats every so often, and why we all need to.

How can I see God’s point of view until I’m sick of my own? Seven days might be enough time for that.

(Numbers 12, Psalm 51, John 1, Matthew 14)

(posted at www.davesandel.net)

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