i was exhausted after following the Master around in his evangelising escapades. i was starting to feel cramped and caged when the Master took us for a walk by the sea – and the sea did wonderful things for your spirit. the Master knew exactly what we needed and we all boarded the boat. as i stand on deck, i know that this boat isn’t that sturdy but it had taken the builders 9 years to raise up. they weren’t confident that it was strong enough to launch it out. any man of the sea could see that. my fishing boats are much sturdier. but the Master insisted that it was more than ready and would have no other one.
now that we were so far out at sea, some of the best ‘morsels’ could be caught. we were where my li’l puny fishing boat would have never survived. having had the experience of throwing my fishing net in the hope of finding some good varities, i knew that a storm was coming up. and for the first time in a long time, my heart skipped a beat in fear. as the winds blew harder, and harder, i started to panic. a couple of months earlier, the Master had walked out to us on the sea. “Do not be afraid, it is I” he had said. too late for all that fancy talk, i thought. we were all going to drown!
i knew that as we sailed, the Master was asleep. as i gather my falling wits about me, there was a sudden sharp increase in wind speed. you didn’t need to be an expert to know that it was only a matter of seconds before the thunderstorm would hit and destroy us. the boat was weak. we wouldn’t make it. should i have jumped out and saved myself or wake up the Master and ask him for help? he seemed powerful but right then i was so angry at him for lying down peacefully while me and the boys were trying so hard to get the boat to be steady. there was a loud thud and we knew the boat was being swamped and that we were in great danger.
i rushed to the one who had been a comfort to me, even though right now he was the last person i wanted to see. when i reached him, he looked so peaceful that for a minute i forgot why i was there. then the hail started to pour down on deck and i shook him vigourously. ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’
he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. i was shocked. he turned to me and asked ‘Where is your faith?”. in fear and amazement i wondered, who he was that he commanded even the winds and the water. and then i knew that he was before me and had known how to deal with the storm. in the Master’s presence, i knew that storms were to be loved and accepted for its purpose.
i walked up to him and sat beside him. i was afraid of his fury. but he smiled at me and held my hand.’I know you were afraid. But you know that you have me and no matter what, I will support you. Don’t you know that storms are cleansing?’. i wacked myself on my head. i knew that. he knew i knew that. there i was believing with all my heart, thanks to my fisherman days, that a strom could be breaking and painful. storms meant loss. the Master said, as though he read my mind, that storms bind, the only thing you lose is your pride and sense of self. but that’s what you get for making the choice to be fishers of men. storms build endurance and endurance builds perseverance and perseverance gave hope and that’s the best balm you could offer a bruised world.
a storm is cleansing.
Dedicated to the boy named C and Luke, who first witnessed then recorded this story 2000 odd years ago