A Storm is stilled

by Richard on May 31, 2005

A meditation, given from the perspective of the apostle Peter…

Strange, the things you remember best.

Not the storm - though it was a humdinger, and the boat wastaking on water. I’d battled big storms before.

It wasn’t even seeing Jesus walking on water. He’d just done that thing of his with bread & fish. Scarcely believable isn’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 you’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 isn’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 - that’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 I’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. It’s a dangerous trade, and more than once I’d had to be rescued. I know what it’s like to pulled out of the water at the last minute. The funny thing is, it didn’t feel like that at all. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not a sentimental man. But it felt as though I were being cradled, not just rescued, but nursed. It wasn’t Jesus’ strength that took my breath away, though if you’ve ever lifted a grown man you’ll know it isn’t a trivial exercise. No, it wasn’t his strength that I remember best. It was his gentleness. I’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 that’s when I knew that I wanted to be a man like him.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Jen 05.31.05 at 3:12 pm

Where did you get that from?
i’ve read an Iona book with similar kind of things in it. Think it might have been called ‘Conversations between Jesus and Peter’, so not quite the same. But its very good (both that mediation and the book).


Richard 06.01.05 at 11:55 am

The “Eh Jesus…Yes Peter” sketches are good, aren’t they? Kim has written a few additional ones, and I did a Christmas one a year or two ago. It’s a good format.
This “meditation” (if that’s the right word) is by me.


Swan 06.01.05 at 2:34 pm

Richard, this one is wonderful.


Trixie 06.03.05 at 6:54 am

This is wonderful! It really has moved me. Thank you for writing it.

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