When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:16-21
When you live by the water, and are surrounded by water, you go down to the sea. The tourists who flock here in the summer are beginning to disperse, and the people who live and work by the sea become suddenly more visible. We have sand in our scalps, we walk by the water at all times of day and night and we teach our children how to swim at young ages. We honor the many gifts the ocean offers and marvel at the changes brought by each season. My niece was worried about the occasional debris in the water and I reminded her that the ocean was the source of all life, constantly renewing life and providing food and pleasure for so many.
Jesus went down to the sea, after his disciples, and walked on the water through the wind and the waves. These seasoned fishermen and sea worthy sailors were terrified, so it must have been some storm. And it must have amazed them that Jesus came to them and calmed the waters and their fast beating hearts. It makes sense to me that the water would hold him and that the would would listen, since he was also the source of life, the incarnation of God's presence made real in the world. We are invited to see God in the moving oceans, in the eyes of our children and in the hearts of strangers and friends we come upon. In t his way, we will all experience the miracles and the calming of our fast beating hearts.
Today I ask God to show me anew the living presence of God in the world around me. May my heart be open and my eyes those of a child. May we all delight in the world around and the people we have been given, with our eyes facing the horizon and waiting for God moving towards us. May we, no matter the fierceness of the wind and the waves, look for the living presence of God among us today.