I always found the Bible passage about Jesus sleeping in the boat as peculiar. His apostles were thrown by the wind and waves, but for Jesus, the elements only rocked him like a cradle. He was made for storms, made for chaos, made to live and die among them, and by so doing, he subdued them.
We forget that though fully divine, Jesus was human.
Mary, Jesus' mother had the privilege of watching her savior sleep. We think of our own loved ones sleeping. How serene they are. It is a personal privilege we enjoy in intimate relationships. Archbishop Martinez contemplates this aspect of Christ, that He slept. I heard that Martinez said that (in so many of my feeble words) that the splendor and beauty of Christ awake, expresses his love and mercy for humanity. He goes on to say that he wished that he could have the experience that Mary had of gazing upon the serenity of the Savior as He slept; how Jesus awake was far too great for his own smallness. How maybe that the sleeping Jesus could invigorate his faith, his peace, his calm...that God's silence is a way of leading us to a stronger faith as we grow and trust that He is still with us, though He sleeps.
As a caregiver, I am close to the reality that life only continues one day at a time.
As an aging lifeguard and an old swimmer, I think back through the lens of teenage sunglasses and see how God prepared me for this experience, today.
It is in swimming against the tide that I feel most like myself. As a swimmer, I thought nothing of venturing to the beach on a lonely overcast Sunday to swim in the open chop of the Atlantic. Unsupervised, away from the pop musical Pompano Pier. I donned my goggles and struggled between swimming against the current and allowing the waves to carry me. Practicing my strokes in the choppy waves made me a stronger swimmer. Even the salt and the buoyancy of the water lent an adventure to swimming that the man made chlorinated pool could not.
And sharks? There had never been reason to think or fear that such a fin may swim by and take my arm off.
I was trusting. Before my awareness of God as my savior, He was there. Deep down in the conception of my being, I knew Him within the water of my mother's womb.
It was later, in the desert of the world, in relationships with drying decaying mortal souls that I experienced the arid absence of God. It was when I thirsted.
In a way, the ocean on Sunday was my church, my place where I sensed God's presence. The psalmist says, "Where can I go that God isn't there? To the depths of the ocean?" Even in the detritus of a graveled lot; raked by man of all green life, sandy, littered by broken glass. God manifested himself to me as beads of sweat above my lip, upon my brow. He was there too. I cried out, not knowing who I was crying to, "Please, Truth, whatever you are...save me!" And then, I swear, a breeze blew cool upon my face.
All that water, all that swimming, prepared me. The waves let me know that storms are to be expected. Again, it is against the current that I swim. It is to what I am accustomed.
I will not drown.