Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jesus Sleeps

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.






10 comments:

  1. "Who is this man that even the wind and seas obey him?" God.

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    1. I suppose if that happened again, the apostles would have let Jesus sleep.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Colleen. I woke up inspired today.

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  3. Reasons to Believe in Jesus

    Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

    Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

    Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

    And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

    Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

    From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

    If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

    by David Roemer
    347-417-4703
    http://www.newevangelization.info

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    1. Excellent David! So sorry I'm just getting back to you. If I could feebly attempt to understand your info, I am impressed by the Psalmist's words, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." Thank you for reading and responding.

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    2. Excellent David! So sorry I'm just getting back to you. If I could feebly attempt to understand your info, I am impressed by the Psalmist's words, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." Thank you for reading and responding.

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  4. This is lovely! By the way. I also love the title of your blog and the Fellini quote.

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    1. Hi Stephanie, Thank you. I'm just seeing this,not expecting anyone to comment. As you can see, I've changed the name of my blog, now. Maybe I should keep the Felini quote?

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    2. Hi Stephanie, Thank you. I'm just seeing this,not expecting anyone to comment. As you can see, I've changed the name of my blog, now. Maybe I should keep the Felini quote?

      Delete