Thursday, August 07, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Today’s text

Matthew 14:28-33

Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

Walking on water

Back to the Voice. We need to hear the Voice of Love, the Voice of Eternal Presence amid the noise of living … and its absorbing fears. Peter asks to hear the Voice telling him to walk amid the restless waves that threaten.

He knows … when the Voice speaks in his soul he has what he needs to live with heart, with courage when threats come.

So speak, Lord Jesus, speak to us, speak in us. Speak from the depth of your heart where the Father dwells that we may hear and know you. Our fears are many, and we often sink beneath them.

I held my mother’s hand a few days ago. We were in a hospital room in Monroe, Wis., and she was about to be taken to surgery. Nurses surrounded her bed and began their preparations.

I started for the door, but without thinking reversed my course and stepped among them at Mom’s side. I took her right hand in mine, hands at the side of her head, bent close to her ear and whispered the best prayer I could manage at the moment.

It was not elegant, certainly not as artful as I would have liked or as she deserved.

But is was real; real, too, was the strong grip in her nearly 85 year-old hand. I knew she would never show or tell us how anxious she was, this woman who has long sought to manage and control virtually every thing she touches … including me.

All the anxiety over living and dying, fear of losing the kind of life that has been meaningful for her, all of this … was locked up in her hand, in that grip, as I prayed for healing and peace, for a quiet mind, for Christ to assure her that she is held in a Love beyond her capacity to understand.

She held on tight, just as tightly as she gripped my hand  … with words tears of thanks … when she returned to her room hours later.

Only now does it occur to me that my whispered prayer was, for her, the Voice of Love speaking to her heart as she was sinking beneath her fears of living and dying.

There is much more to say here, but this is enough for now: Jesus is the Voice of Love who comes amid restless waves of fear, finding ways to speak to us and in us, seeking to fill us with the Eternal Presence of Love that filled him.

Hearing this Voice courage comes, and however slowly … we begin to learn how to walk on water.

Pr. David L. Miller

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