Tuesday, June 30, 2020

"i will sail my vessel...."

"and I will
sail my vessel..."

I woke up this morning with two things on my heart: the story of Jesus calming the sea. And Garth Brooks': "The River." And I wept.

My heart was a tumble of images. A world panicking over a second "wave," of COVID cases. A humble savior asleep in the bow of a small boat. And, four "good boys," laughing and praying in Timberline - the cabin just below mine - almost thirty years ago. Garth Brooks and Grateful Dead music mingling in my heart, as the tie-dyed colors of that summer fluttered on the clothesline behind their cabin...

So, what do all these things have in common? Good men, prayer, music, the calming of storms? Not sure. I only know that these were the gifts of the day -- and I have accepted them, and will let them lead me to the "other side," of my prayers.

It is almost impossible -- even here at camp -- to not be aware of the deep concern for human health that is washing over the land. I am so grateful to be here in this place so devoted to finding spiritual solutions while it wrestles with very human issues.

This morning's series of images and sounds were the perfect reminder of something that was shared during a Wednesday testimony meeting a month or so ago in relation to the story of Jesus calming the sea:

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

"And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

This story has always been very meaningful for me. My husband and I had an experience many years ago while sitting on the tarmac for a flight home - that seared this story into my heart. I was alarmed by an intuitive sense that there was something very wrong with the plane and wanted to "get off," immediately.

I had heard stories of other spiritual thinkers who had had the same experience and were led to deplane. Later to find out that the flight had been buffeted by bad weather, or a failed engine, or in one instance - a crash landing.

I thought that God was urging us to take the same course of action -- "get off." But my husband, reminded me of this Bible story and said that we needed to pray - not just for ourselves, but for all the other little "ships." Jesus calming the sea, benefited everyone on the water that night. We could do that too.

I changed my mental course, and within minutes we were told by the pilot that a problem had been detected and that we would have to deplane and board another flight. It was the most harmonious and efficient change of flight I have ever experienced.

So this morning, as I was praying about camp, and the world's concern for a "second wave," I was not only grateful to be in a place that was prayer-based, and peace-inspired, but I was reminded of something that was shared in a testimony, during a recent zoom church service one Wednesday evening.

During her relating of a healing that was inspired by Jesus' calming of the storm in the above story from Mark, my friend Natalie shared this statement that has been with me ever since:

“The disciples
woke Jesus to their storm;
He woke them,
to his peace..."

Today, as spiritual thinkers, our camp administration and staff are not letting the world alarm us with reports of a second wave of fear or even the surging storms of doubt, that seems so riotous. They are - with every humble, active prayer - waking our brother (and sister) man, to the peace that we know and feel deeply within us -- within the kingdom of God, where only harmony reigns.

And not only ourselves, but all the other little "ships" on this sea of humanity, must feel the collective peace of this calm.

Jesus didn't dismiss the disciples' concerns about the storm. He didn't turn on his side and go back to sleep. He rose, rebuked the storm, assured all who were listening that "peace, was still - nevertheless. And he stayed awake as the surging waves ceased, and there was a perceptible calm.

Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way in her Message to The Mother Church in 1902:

“O glorious hope! there remaineth a rest for the righteous, a rest in Christ, a peace in Love. The thought of it stills complaint; the heaving surf of life's troubled sea foams itself away, and underneath is a deep-settled calm."

This promise stills the raging sea of human fear - individually and collectively. It gives us a shiftless position to navigate from, and anchor our hopes in.

Edwin Markham wrote a little poem. It is written on my heart and speaks to me every day:

"“He drew a circle that shut me out.
‘Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.’
But Love and I had the wit to win.
We drew a circle that drew them in."

Our prayers for humanity's peace, health, and confidence in Love's ever-presence, omnipotence, and universal grace - are drawing a bigger circle. And no one is left out.

One thing I learned from that summer of Garth Brooks and the Grateful Dead, tie-dyed t-shirts and Tevas was that the prayers of a few good boys, grow into a generation of good men. And when that circle of love is pure and expansive, no one is left out - all are helped, and healed.

offered with Love,


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