Reflecting on Matthew 14: 22-23
I just noticed something. In the two accounts of big storms at sea, Jesus is either sleeping through it—Mt. 8: 23-27— or he’s not in the boat at all—Mt. 14: 2-33. That feels about right. I have a beloved friend who lived her life in prayer. And the only time she absolutely lost her connection to Jesus was when she was desperately ill in the hospital. Her sense was that he was either sound asleep or not in her presence at all.
She recovered, and over time her deep sense of the presence of Jesus was restored. But those two gospel accounts of the disciples terrorized at sea are a perfect metaphor for our own experiences of trauma. When we call to Jesus in our trials, do we feel him with us? The gospel suggests that he is there, but so totally confident in God’s power over the sea (and illness, and death) that he is serene during our thrashings about.
O you of little faith, he says to wave-tossed Peter. Why did you doubt? Well, let’s see. Why do we doubt? We are still in the absolute middle of the storm. We’ve closed down, we’ve reopened, we’ve closed down again. We are those disciples, terrorized in the boat. But we need to be Peter.
Reach, says the gospel. Be courageous and reach. But a lot of times, we are too weak, too far gone, to reach. Are you like that today? Are you just too weak to reach? No worries. The Body of Christ has your back. We reach for you. And look! Here comes Jesus, calling your name, reaching out to catch you.
What need do you have that the Body of Christ can fill? Reach out.
Kathy McGovern ©2020