I must admit that I am tired of storms. I’m worn out trying to find my life story—my Covid pandemic life story—reflected in the apostles’ experience of storms at sea.
I’m exhausted trying to outsmart an invisible enemy.
I’m finished for a while with helping people make sense of what has been senseless suffering in their lives for these past two years.
The global consequences of the pandemic are so overwhelming I want to just sit down and cry. I long for the former days that seem in misty memory to have been more carefree and happy.
So the words that attracted my attention in the Gospel reading in today’s liturgy were these: “the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.”
The apostles wanted to take Jesus into their boat. They were prepared to take charge and figure out the next best thing to do.
Oh, how much of my life I’ve spent doing precisely this. These past two years that have been not only pandemic-riddled but also have been years of great loss on different levels have finally worn me out. I certainly don’t know the next move and I’ve finally acknowledged that I certainly don’t have what it requires to take the situation in hand and plot a way forward.
If you feel this way, just a little, trust in the Lord who brought the boat immediately to the shore to which they were heading. Sometimes we get taken to places in our lives that we would never have gone on our own, places that we would never have chosen, that we still don’t entirely comprehend. Somehow through it all we are taken by God to a shore where we are safe, yet we don’t how we got there, where we are to go, or how we are to get there. We simply realize that God himself did it for us because he loves us poor storm-weary children.
It is a place of trust and of magnificent wonder: God is taking us somewhere, and he is doing it on his own, surprising us with his power, surrounding us with his love. “Do not be afraid,” he says. “It is I.”
I want to finish this reflection with three lines that perfectly express my prayer in these days. They are from a poem by Marie Noël (The Hours: Prime) found in the book Born from the Gaze of God: The Tibhirine Journal of a Martyr Monk (1993-1996).
Father, carry my soul in its carefreeness
To where you want, and let it sleep in your hand
Without asking the meaning and the goal of the road.