“If you want to walk on water,” a minister said, looking around at us, “get out of the boat!”
I gasped. That was blunt! But it was true as well. How can I follow Jesus anywhere, at anytime, and at any cost, if I don’t want to climb out of the security of a boat?
Thankfully, Jesus understands our fear of failure, and anxieties at finding ourselves out of our depth, but he still stretches out his hand. “Come!” he calls to each one of us. He dares us to step out of our little boat. He dares us to put everything on the line for him. He dares us to trust that if we sink, he will reach out and hold us up. “Come!”
Derek and I met two hikers. They stood by a fence with binoculars. “Excuse me,” said one of them, pointing to a manor house, “do you live there?”
I laughed. “I wish.”
Then they pointed there again. “What is that thing in the tree?”
Derek and I shook our heads. But then I grinned and waved my arm with exaggerated grandeur. “Please, feel welcome to take a look.”
All of us laughed, and Derek and I walked on. But Derek and I kept on laughing. Imagine being mistaken for a lord and lady… But actually… Jesus is Lord, and he has a manor house in heaven. It feels so good to have a place we can call home.
It hardly ever happens. Derek and I stopped. We stood in a beech wood. There was no wind, no noise, no people, just us. We watched leaves fall from the trees, one every few seconds. We heard the “plif” as each one landed.
Life is like that. We can’t hear anything until we stop. Today I heard an agitated voice. I listened to the silence behind their words, and I heard the “plif.” What that person actually meant was, “I feel so alone. No one listens to me. Please accept me.”
Jesus stops with us in the silence behind our words. He wants us to hear his “plif.” “I comfort all who mourn… I bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” (from Isaiah 61:2-3)