Oh Say Can’t You See?
But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” – Mark 4:38
As the waves rocked the boat, as the panic set in, as it seemed that all would shortly be lost, the disciples were incredulous.
Didn’t Jesus care? Didn’t he notice?
They’d waited as long as they could manage and assumed Jesus would just awaken. When they realized that he was still sleeping, they jumped to accusations. Not only was Jesus dozing his way through this awful storm, but, in their minds, he didn’t even care.
Have we ever leveled this accusation at God?
Wondering and waiting for the God who we believe is with us, when God hasn’t absorbed our anxieties, do we jump to the disciples’ conclusion that God doesn’t care?
We call the Gospels “good news” so I look for the good in learning that Jesus wasn’t roiled by that storm.
Lord knows I’ve seen storms. On this day of patriotic celebration in the country of my birth, any number of us are living the national storms we prayed we’d never have to see [again].
Oh say can you see…we sing.
But don’t you see, too, God? Won’t you fix this? Can’t you intervene?
I wonder, by the wisdom of this text, if God is concerned but…not worried. Could this possibly be a comfort?
The disciples asked: “Do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus went ahead and stilled the waters, saying “peace”. Sure, they could’ve had more faith and believed that Jesus would take care of them and still the storms and bring true equal rights and stop the deportations and call the country to bend the knee in repentance and…and…
We remember that it wasn’t their faith that saved them. It was the God who wasn’t fazed by their lack of faith.
Oh yes, I’d say, God sees. Even when it seems like God is sleeping. And God says: “peace.”
Thank you, God, for saving me in the midst of the storm. Even when I say the wrong words and think the wrong things you say: peace, anyway. Give me the grace to wait for your salvation and to trust in your care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.