We all encounter storms in the course of a lifetime. Our nation faces crisis and storms on multiple fronts today: the virus, the political tension and anger, the oppression of racism. Here is an excerpt from Encounter...
Navigating the Storm
He drew me—this man, this teacher.
I crept close, I stood near, I listened… then I followed.
I watched him touch, heal, speak, and look into their eyes.
His eyes caught mine, his gaze penetrated every layer.
I was lost, and then found; he captured my heart.
I’ve watched him as we were seated by the fireside in the twilight hours.
I’ve listened to peculiar stories and provocative words;
words that enter the dark silence gently,
but are unbending as iron.
The seasons have passed—I still follow.
Today, the Master sat in my boat; he taught the crowds at water’s edge.
Words of hope and mystery meandered across a watery path to hungry hearts.
The day was long, and as the sun set Jesus instructed us to cross the sea.
He settled in the stern of the boat, placing his head on a cushion.
Steady breathing told those standing close that the master slept.
It wasn’t long…
Clouds advanced, descending heavy and ominous;
Fierce winds raged, stalking our company of boats.
Angry waves rose, tangled fingers grasping,
Oppressive energy sought domination.
Weathered men strained, pelted by stinging droplets,
Oars engaged with an unrestrained force.
Churning waters invaded, scaling wooden walls with little effort,
the storm without is now the storm within.
The unnamed foe advances, ravages, assaults…
My boat shudders and I tremble.
Fear kindled, doubt feeds the flame.
Water cannot quench this burning.
The storm growls,
an enemy intent on destruction,
all my effort deficient.
Lightning flashes; daggers piercing my soul,
Flaws revealed; faith inadequate; stability shattered;
I am diminished by a faceless foe.
The storm threatens my fragile craft, water rises,
my soul is submerged unable to breathe.
And the master sleeps.
I woke him—I accused, I ranted, I blamed,
"Don't you care? I'm drowning.
"How could he sleep? How could he rest while I am assaulted?
How could he permit such a malicious attack?
How could he be free from the icy grip of fear that imprisons me?
And the storm screeches a victory cry;
raindrops sting and mingle with angry, fear filled tears.
Jesus rebuked the storm. “Hush! Be still.”
The storm ceased. My tantrum hushed.
Instant calm; fear dissolves.
Stillness—my anger melts.
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith in me?”
Reverent awe stirs deep, He is distant yet close.
The God-man had spoken – I tremble. Encounter, pp. 38-39
Engaging God with an Open Heart
Thoughts on Encounter...
"A truly captivating and terrific read for any soul feeling lost in this wild thing we call life. She catches your attention immediately through masterful writing and scripture that are tied together by powerful works of art that she created with her own hands. It absolutely challenges you to look inward - to fully accept, understand, and love your relationship and journey with God."
Chris Labrum, musician