A meditation, given from the perspective of the apostle Peter…
Not the storm - though it was a humdinger, and the boat wastaking on water. Iâ€™d battled big storms before.
It wasnâ€™t even seeing Jesus walking on water. Heâ€™d just done that thing of his with bread & fish. Scarcely believable isnâ€™t it - but I was there. Matt brought up more than 5 loaves worth on the deck of my boat, but he was always a rotten sailor. What I mean is, when youâ€™ve seen someone feed a whole crowd with a bit of bread and fish, and gathered up more than you started with, walking on water starts to seem, well…, mundane.
He called to me, then too. Matt says I challenged Jesus to call me, but that isnâ€™t how I remember it. Whatever — I know that Jesus had me step off the side of a pitching boat in a force 8 gale and walking towards him across the lake like it was a pleasnt evening stroll. I just about got to him too, and then it struck me how absurd it was. I should never have left the boat - thatâ€™s the place for a sailor in a storm at sea, not wandering about among the wave tops. I looked back at the boat, with the others still shouting and struggling with the oars and it was like Iâ€™d had my legs cut from underneath me. I was sinking like the stone I was named after.
What I remember best was the way that Jesus caught me and lifted me back into the boat. I used to make my living on that lake. Itâ€™s a dangerous trade, and more than once Iâ€™d had to be rescued. I know what itâ€™s like to pulled out of the water at the last minute. The funny thing is, it didnâ€™t feel like that at all. Donâ€™t misunderstand me, Iâ€™m not a sentimental man. But it felt as though I were being cradled, not just rescued, but nursed. It wasnâ€™t Jesusâ€™ strength that took my breath away, though if youâ€™ve ever lifted a grown man youâ€™ll know it isnâ€™t a trivial exercise. No, it wasnâ€™t his strength that I remember best. It was his gentleness. Iâ€™d thought I was going to die there and then, and then found myself being held like a child and set down in the boat. I hardly noticed that the storm had stopped. The others were even more frightened of Jesus than they had been of the storm, all they had seen was his power. But I knew his love, and thatâ€™s when I knew that I wanted to be a man like him.