6-19-15 - Still No Faith?

You may have heard more than you want this week about my medical crises with my cat, but they have paralleled our gospel story of the disciples and Jesus in the boat. I feel I’ve experienced a similar situation and outcome. I’ve been gripped with fear, prayed in panic – and I’ve seen remarkable calm bestowed on all the parties, even on me.

The only hitch is that, as many times this week as I got to a place of calm (usually in response to good news, not because of my faith…), I was as easily jolted back to panic by the next bit of less-good news. I found it extraordinarily hard to put my trust in Jesus in the face of all the medical and emotional information. And, as grateful as I am that, for the moment, both cats seem well and happy, and I am safely back home with them, I think I deserve the words Jesus had for his disciples once the seas were still: “He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’”

Why are we afraid? Because when the winds whip up and the waves crest our bow, that’s all we can see. And anxious situations do more than define our present – they have a way of dominating our thoughts of the future as well. And the past, where time and again – though not always – we’ve been delivered from what we most feared? That recedes into the distance when the thunder and lightning start.

How can we stay focused on the One in the stern rather than the storm all around us? We can take our cue from the disciples: “And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’”

We need to speak of our experiences and tell everyone around us, not forget about it the minute the crisis is over. So I should tell you of the number of times this week I had an image of Jesus holding my beloved cat, soothing and healing her. I should tell you that yesterday, when I was about to get a massage during my mother’s birthday “spa day,” and I was worrying about the cat, I had a sense of Jesus saying, “Let me hold Dandelion for you. You just be here.” Do I sound crazy? Probably – but maybe so did the disciples when they told the story of the storm and the sudden calm.

And many people must have heard the story and believed it, for it was passed along and shared and finally written down by Mark, from whom Matthew and Luke got it… and so to us. We have this story to build our faith. We need to tell each other our “God stories” to build each others faith.

We need to allow ourselves to be filled with awe for this Jesus of Nazareth, who lives among us even now, who can command the wind and the sea, and even our feeble human hearts when we say "yes."

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