"Save us, Lord! We are perishing!" (Matthew 8:25)
Crashing of waves, rolling of thunder, whistling of winds...These are things that I feel and hear as I pray with this image of the storm surrounding the disciples. In this painting, the artist conveys anxiety, fear, frustration, and helplessness through his many brushstrokes.
I was drawn to take this image to prayer as Jesus seems asleep in my little boat in life. Don't we all feel this way?
Coronavirus has been a storm for all of us. Each of us has had lives changed by it. You might be experiencing loss in your spiritual life without the availability of the sacraments. Maybe you have lost your job, and, for the first time are experiencing the uncertainty of unemployment. Or maybe you have a family member who has passed or is severely ill in this time.
Whatever your circumstances, whatever your cross- you are in a boat with the Lord. While he is here, he seems to be sleeping, and often what is felt are the tossing of the waves and the turbulence of wind blowing back and forth.
Looking at this image, I can easily place myself in the position of the man steering, whose oar has been taken from him. In these recent times, life in many aspects has been uncertain, and any sense of security seems to be taken from me. What are often groundings to feel safe - job, home, friends - all of these seem to be in flux. Like this disciple without his ability to control or steer the boat, I have come to realize that they are all comforts. While such things make us feel in control, the reality is, we are not in control. Jesus is in control. All is gift.
Like the disciples, who wake Jesus up in such times of helplessness, we need to cling to Him in such uncertainty. He is with us. Like he said to his dearest friends, he says to us, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)
Sister, you are not alone in this time. The Lord is with you, calling you to Himself in this time of vulnerability. When securities seem to come out from under us, we are faced with opportunities for faith. In such moments, let us call to the Lord in our need and place our trust in Him.
Citation for image: Delacrouix, Eugenet. Christ Asleep during the Tempest. 1853, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436176,public domain.