Mark 4:35-41, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lord of the waves and wind,
Help us to listen to what you are telling us these days. Lead us to know what you are asking of us in this storm. You are inviting us to leave familiar shores while the waves are high. You are asking us to make this crossing to the other side while the horizon is dark. We do not know what this other side holds for us.
All we know is this present side of our lives. And now you are asking us to leave this side of the familiar and make for the other side. You are telling us to set our sights beyond the horizon. And to the discomfort inside us, you speak, asking us to risk this ride through the storm with you, assuring us that where we have been all this time is not where we should be. We cannot stay where we are. We may have been enchanted by what we have built, dismayed by what we have destroyed. But where we are now (this vale of tears) is not where you want us. Where we are now is not where we should be.
There is a crossing to be made, from this present shore to an other side. There is this other side to the sorrows we have caused each other, an other side to the indifference and irreverence and pain we have been to you and your creation. There is this other side to the present one we know, there must be so. You would not be here with us in this boat if it were not so.
And now, having left the familiar, in this storm, we are afraid. You know our fear. We are afraid of the waves that have been relentless. We are more afraid for our lives, more troubled by the turbulence, more afraid of these inclement waves than we are sorry for our own impenitence.
We are afraid of what we do not know. Afraid of loss and loneliness and dying, we all are. We are anxious about life not meaning much, afraid of life not mattering after all. And of this we are more afraid than we are contrite for making life not matter or mean much for those who live barely at the edges of life.
We are afraid of what we cannot see, we all are. And many times we are more afraid of the unseen than we are hopeful in you staying with us and seeing us through to the other side.
Give us faith to see you with us now, in this boat being tossed by the waves. Give us hope to hold on to when life rolls sideways and the lurching becomes unbearable. Give us love to give to each other when our hearts break, when we are tired from rowing against the wind, when we are hungry and lost and alone.
Chide us if you must for our lack of faith or hope or love. All we ask is that you please shine just enough light to keep us going. Give us just enough silence so we can listen to how you are asking us to take heart, to keep together and not be afraid.
Our old plans are shot, our dreams disrupted. Bring your dreams then closer to ours. Let the cushion beneath your head, let your sleep give rest to our faith that has grown tired of grieving. Break into the hardness of our hearts so that your tears may become our tears. Turn our lives around so that your longing becomes our longing. After all, in the likeness of you, we are made. We are your beloved; in you, we are created anew.
You are the Lord of the waves and wind, the giver of life, the conqueror of fear and death. Show us where in this storm we might draw boldness from your limitless love. Empower us to master our doubt and seek our strength in you.
With you, we will set out for deeper water. We will brave the waves. Together, to the other side, we will make this crossing with you.
*image from the Internet