Lectionary Reflection: Matthew 14: 22-33: Why Do We Doubt?

So the young woman eased her car into the morning rush hour traffic.  She was going to start a new job, and as she drove and stopped and drove she became overwhelmed with every notion of what might go wrong and how she might screw up.  By the time she arrived in the parking lot she was nothing but frayed nerves and fear.  She could not get out of the car.  She said a little prayer, took a deep breath and walked up to the front door.  Her knees nearly gave out.

Her new boss found her.  He took her first thing to the break room.  “What say we get some coffee first thing,” he said, and smiled.

***

So the old woman did not sleep.  The thunder and lightning and pouring rain kept her up, and so did her new medication.  The doctor said this was the last they had.  He did not actually say if this medication did not work she would soon die, but he implied it.  She heard it all the same. 

The night crew in the nursing home ignored her suffering.  They did not care.  No one cared.  She felt utterly alone and abandoned.  And she was afraid.  She was afraid of death and knew she would be in tears if her tear ducts had not dried up so many years ago.  She prayed, and then struggled mightily to get up from the bed. 

Her old legs were stiff and hurt, and her arms were not much better, but she grabbed the walker and it was enough.  She thought, if only she could make it to the chair, but she stumbled forward and barely caught herself to prevent a terrible fall.  She looked down at the chair, and looked up at the curtains, and with an old, trembling hand she reached out and pulled the curtain back.

The rain was over.  The dawn had arrived.  The sun was peeking over the horizon.  The birds were up, and the squirrels were already scurrying about.  It was going to be a good day after all, and she felt better.

***

The man sat in the pew and trembled.  His wife did this when she was young.  His children were invested.  He knew what he had to do, but it was hard.  It was impossible, and he thought of every reason why he would not do it.  It was embarrassing.  It would expose him.  He would be showing a weakness.  It should not have to be this way, but something in his heart rose up and said, but God, it is the right thing to do.

He was not given to prayer, but he reached out to the unknown, and when the call came at the end of the service, he stood.  He stumbled forward.  He nearly fell over, but when he reached the front row he was able to sit again in the front pew.  The minister came to him and he began to cry.

***

Jesus walked on water.  Peter walked on water, but became afraid and nearly lost it.  But Jesus was right there to help him finish the journey and get back into the boat – and immediately the wind died down.

But we can’t walk on water.  That is crazy, impossible stuff.  How can we possibly relate to such a story?  You figure it out.

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