35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Jesus was so cool in today’s gospel story! Although the boat was being rocked by the waves, Jesus was exhausted and so he just kept on sleeping. Even when his disciples woke him up Jesus remained un-phased by the storm, an island of calm in the midst of panic! Instead of fear, he had faith, enough faith to command the waters to be still and the storm to cease!
On this Father’s Day, I would love to be able to say that I was like Jesus, or maybe one of those fathers that they show on TV, to be strong in the face of every storm, providing a calm wisdom that made everything all better!
I would love to say this, with 21 years of experience behind me, I know that I cannot!
In reality my reactions to the storms I have faced while raising my daughter have been…complicated. At times the frustration and fear has sent me flying into a fierce rage, at other times I have become overwhelmed by my powerlessness and broke-down in tears.
However, while in the midst of the storm, I have often been able to hide the worst of my frustration and fear as I am a man and a father, and as such have felt that it was important to present a calm and collected presence in the face of any crisis, from dealing with a lost hamster in the middle of the night to climbing in to the back of an ambulance for a trip to the Emergency Room, and all the other stuff in between.
Right or wrong, I have believed that this was part of my responsibility as a father: to be able to put aside my fears and doubts and to act like I had it all together and was un-phased by the storms that raged all around me, when all I really wanted to do was just fall apart! Yet falling apart was something that I felt I could not afford as I was afraid that if I panicked all would be lost!
Like the disciples, I have often suffered from a lack of faith; in myself and in God’s loving presence in our lives, and in this lack of faith I simply was not strong enough to let myself fall apart and admit that I was afraid and hurt!
However, there is good news in today’s reading: even when our weakness overwhelms us, and our faith falters in the face of these storms, we can have confidence that God is walking with us, offering us love and support. Just like any good father God is there for us to lean on, and this makes it okay for us to just let it go, giving us the courage to surrender to those things we cannot control, because we know that where we are powerless, God is powerful! Knowing that we are surrounded by God’s love can kindle a spark of faith in our hearts, allowing us to see that it is Christ, working through all those around us, who brings us through the storms of life and to a place of true peace and calm!
A place where we can simply be parents to our children, and enjoy the great gift of love that we all share together, making this and every day something to celebrate!
Let Us Pray
Dear God, thank you for the gift of parenthood, and please helps us find moments of calm in any storm that may arise while we are raising our children. Let us remember that you are always with us, both in the Spirit and in those around us, and that this gives us the freedom to let go and to trust that we do not have to always BE the calm. Help us to never be reluctant to reach out to others for help and support or to offer the same to those in need. Let us remember that when we act together in faith that we can survive, and even thrive in the face of any storm…and that it is only together that we will make it through to the calm, still waters of peace!