Tsunami relief

February 8, 2005

My beloved friend and fellow sky watcher and I have been pondering the whole “waiting on God” part of the Christian life. Like Peter we are sitting in the boat, and the storm is raging. The question is, step out and walk by faith to Christ or sit in the boat and wait for Him to come to you? The answer is yes. Both. It depends.

I am prone to jump out of the boat and walk by faith at the wrong place and the wrong time. Here comes a tsunami. Jesus is nowhere in sight, and I leap from the vessel, tired of waiting on Him, valiantly planning to succeed on my own. I am crushed beneath a wall of water (or circumstances, problems, call it what you will) and wash up mostly dead on the beach. He picks up my ragged carcass and says, “Why did you do that?” I have no response.

Take two, He is walking toward me on the water and beckons. I pretend I don’t see Him. I don’t have my glasses on, so He must be pointing at someone else. He calls my name, but I shake my head. Everyone knows when you don’t have on your glasses, you can’t hear either.

I’m not ready to get out of the comfort zone. People drown in deep water, Lord. There are sharks. Slimy things might touch my legs. I have an itemized list of why it’s a bad idea. Do you want it alphabetical or chronological?

He looks at me again, will I come and join the dance? “Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’ t you, won’ t you join the dance?” I sit this one out. “Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.*” He gets to the boat and says, “Why did you do that?” I have no response.

And I think of Robert Frost’s poem ‘Wild Grapes’

“Don’t you weigh anything?
Try to weigh something next time, so you won’t
Be run off with by birch trees into space.”
It wasn’t my not weighing anything
So much as my not knowing anything–
My brother had been nearer right before.

It’s not so much my not weighing anything (trust me there), but my not knowing anything. Or more specifically, not knowing Him. If I really knew Him, I’d trust Him enough to stay put when He tells me to and to come when He calls. Even my dog can do better than that. Perhaps even my cat.

Take three. I’m in the boat, the storm is raging. He’s nowhere in sight, so I stay put. Waiting on Him. Trusting He’ll show up and get this boat to shore. Or if it sinks and I die, there’ll be dying grace or resurrection. Some amazing miracle that only He could do. He’s done it before a million times, for the Bible tells me so. I hear a noise in the boat and turn. There He is. He was there all the time; I just couldn’t see Him. Were there scales on my eyes? He smiles at me because this time I did what He wanted. I have no response to that, but this time that’s okay.

Take four. I’m still in the boat, and a new storm is raging. Scanning the swells, I see Him. My glasses are wet with the spray, but I don’t miss the beckoning. He bids me come–out on the waves. I can hear His voice calling. It’s my name, not anyone else’s. My list is still there, ready to be trotted out–to tell Him all the reasons I shouldn’t come. Physics is against me, for one. I’m ready, though, to try. I step from the boat and walk toward Him. Because He’s there, the tsunami may swell over my head, but it cannot kill me unless He says so. If it doesn’t, I’ll be with Him. If it does, I will too. I take a step, and He smiles. He doesn’t need to ask why, and I don’t need to respond. And that’s okay.

(Thanks to Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Lobster Quadrille’.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s