John here wishing you a good Arty Morning ! I take it you spotted the story from the painting?
Eularia Clarke’s “Storm over the Lake.”
Many years ago in a fit of ecumenism, I volunteered to write some songs for the Methodist Collection of Contemporary Christian Art if I could do a concert in the middle of the Exhibition at Saltaire (part of the Festival). This painting leapt out of the catalogue at me. I think it was the not unreasonable fear in the faces. But then fear keeps us alive. It stops us being run over by the proverbial bus, burned by the gas cooker, eaten by next door’s Rottweiler.
Listen to the song https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/drowning while you read the story. Luke 8:22-25 Being in Luke it won’t take you long. He’s not like Julie is he? Luke takes all of FOUR verses to tell a big story.
I like to identify with the dramatis personae. Jesus is tired. He goes to sleep. I can do that.
The disciples panic. I can do that.
He does the teacher bit, gives the wind a good telling off and everything returns to calm. I used to be able to do that. (mostly!)
He’s a bit short of patience having been woken up. I can do that.
“Where is your faith?” He asks. I feel his exasperation.
What Jesus had said was: “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake”(v22)
Things Jesus didn’t say:
“Looks like a stormy crossing, we’d better not go”
“Let’s get out there and see what happens.”
“Let’s get into the middle and drown”
He said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake”
I can do scared. I loved taking kids on school trips (see yesterday’s Zeph@10) but there were moments of cold sweat.
When there was a lot less of me I was scared of getting stuck crawling in a cave underneath the Ribblehead viaduct. Richard Lewis tweaked a knee that day, so perhaps not unreasonable of me. As we were walking from Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay along a fossil-rich beach, with kids excitedly finding huge numbers of interesting specimens, I was anxiously looking alternately at the tide galloping in under the north wind and the sheer cliff that we couldn’t possibly climb. Or above Ingleborough Hall when the mist came down (or we walked up into it), and being back for tea depended entirely (?) on my map-reading skills.
“Where does my help come from?”
Prayer here remembering when that promise, “I am with you always” has been demonstrably true for us.
The disciples actually did the right thing. They went straight to Jesus. It’s not like they had far to go. But that’s always true, isn’t it ? He’s always right there, whether we want to remember his presence or not.
I trust your day will go peacefully… but in those occasional moments of buttock-clenching fear, I pray you’ll remember where to go first. Amen ?