To all of you wonderful people who are overwhelming me with your amazing love,
I guess it was about 7:30 this morning. Paul had just given me my medications and I knew he was anxious to get going to get his day started, but I just couldn’t let him go — I needed to tell him about something that had happened more than fifty years ago, when I was five. My parents and I were on my father’s boat, heading out of the Atlantic and into the Essex River when all of a sudden we fell into the grip of a fierce ocean storm. Unless you’ve ever experienced a powerful storm on the boundless sea in a tiny boat, I won’t be able to describe the fear that overcomes a person — especially when the person is a little girl.
Just at the point when I was sure I would faint away from pure terror, we pulled into the boat yard. The anxious attendant was the picture of amazement as he helped us tie the rig up, “Oh my God, he said, you’re safe. How were you able to do it?”
In all these years I’ve never been able to come up with an answer to the attendant’s question, “How were we able to do it?” I always tried to convince myself that it must have been Pa’s seamanship, but deep in my heart I knew that wasn’t right. I knew he was as scared as anyone. The whole matter was out of his hands — it was out of human hands entirely. In all these years I’ve been unable to come up with an explanation — and in all these years I’ve been unable to set aside that horrible, horrible sense of fear.
This morning, though, while I related this story to my husband, I finally saw the solution to the puzzle that had stumped me for fifty years — it had been God who had saved us! I heard myself say the words, ‘the hand of God’, and even as I said those words I found it hard to believe. Since when does God move his hand around the ocean; and if he did, why would he use his power to save me and my family? Paul didn’t seem surprised, though, he just nodded his head, taking it all in.
By now it was really late, and Captain Catholic hurried out the door, but after a minute I checked my Nook and saw that he’d sent me a link via the email. This is what came through:
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up, Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
Mark 4, 35-41
The lesson is so clear, but I have so much trouble learning it. God is telling me: 1) Let me fill you with calm, 2) Trust me, and 3) Let go, and stop trying to control everything.
I must be one of those ‘remedial students’. I keep having to repeat the same grade over and over.
Love You All,