Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I'm in a small boat in a raging sea - Jessica Williams with Krista Heide

"Small Boat in a Raging Sea" - by Krista Heide
I'm in a small boat on a raging sea.  

And it is hard to believe in Jesus. 

I’ve never seen him -- you know? I have this Sunday-School picture that is stuck in my head but I’m sure it’s not what He looked like. And was He really born of a virgin? Was God a baby? Was he crucified? Is he coming back? This -- is our faith.  Jesus, he did these things, he turned water to wine, he healed the sick and raised the dead. But -- none of us were there.  I didn’t see it.  

I’m in a small boat on a raging sea.

The waves are big and full of all things. 

The brokenness of this world. Girls made into product, stolen and sold, boys sent to war, corruption, greed, violence, abuse, addiction, poverty, politics, pain, religion, racism, rape, starvation, slavery, sickness, shootings  -- all around us.

I’m in a small boat on a raging sea.

The kingdom is now/not yet, illusive and hard to grasp.
I see it and I don’t see it.  It’s but a poor reflection.

I’m in a small boat on a raging sea.  

And, listen: This boat is made from the trees of my youth, my home. Which is both comforting and haunting all at once. My foundation is weathered wood and it holds my story, where I’ve been, this wood matters. There are many weak places beneath me and they make sense of this fear in my heart.

I’m in a small boat on a raging sea. 

So, if Jesus were in this boat with me?  The man, Jesus.  I confess even then I am sure I would still freak out. L
ook at that sea! Jesus is just a man and we all know that some men abandon the ship. The waves are crashing here and it is obvious that I am at risk of dying any second so my question is this: 

Does He not care that we are perishing? 

Am I loved as I ask it?  

Because, for some reason the only thing that has ever helped this doubt in me is saying it. I have to speak it out. I believe and I disbelieve so if you ask me to only believe I will not make it. But if you can listen to my fear, if I can hand it to you, I will find that inner place of rest. My own sleeping Jesus. And I will see that He in this boat with me will be enough.

But, I will only find my yes after all these no’s have been spoken making room in my lungs to breathe in hope. This doubt leads the way to faith. Slowly, pulls me close enough to understand that if Jesus didn’t care about this raging sea I’m in he wouldn’t be here with me. But he is. He is Emmanuel. He is God with us. And I will know it as I doubt it.

I’m in a small boat on a raging sea.

-Jessica Williams is a poet and Krista Heide is an artist and musician. They are both from Winnipeg, Canada and are currently graduate students in theology at St. Stephen's University in New Brunswick.