Born to the sea

I was born to the sea.

How old was i?

Maybe six or seven

The first time I was out on the lake fishing

With my dad and one of those

Sudden storms that descend without

Warning over the mountains

Hit us, transforming a relatively

Placid lake into a boiling 

Tumultuous death trap of

Darkness. But dad knew what to do

And skillfully brought her about

(no easy feat in a tempest)

And, even-keeled and out-hauled

We ran her back into the shore

From which we came

But this was different – 

The Master told us to go

To the opposite shore and we

Were determined to do so or 

Die trying, so we kept her headed 

Into the wind

Sails reefed, straining on the tiller and 

Oars to keep her on course

At first it was amusing to see the lubbers 

Amongst us terrified – especially

Matthew who couldn’t swim

But as the storm intensified

We were all frightened, even

Those of us who grew up 

On this very lake

Hands skinned by the lines

Bleeding, every muscle ached

When I was a young man, 

I met a Philistine fellow who plied 

The sea that has no end and 

Heard tales of an ocean 

Void of light that 

Swallowed whole ships, and of

Sea monsters so horrid as to 

Defy description that gobbled

Men and ships like a thrush 

Scarfing up insects.

Now it seemed that Gennesaret

Was possessed by devils intent

On destroying us. 

Did not the Master say that the accuser 

Stalks about looking for people to

Rob, kill, destroy, and were we not, 

We followers of the Master, the

First buds of a new kingdom?

If satan were to seek any to destroy

Would it not be us?

And if he did, all is lost.

I admit, my instincts locked in

And I shouted to come about, but 

The others rightly insisted

We obey the Master, so on we

Struggled in the darkness, sheets of

Cold rain, howling winds, stinging surf

Fog so thick you could almost grasp it

Unable to see the bow if you were amidships

The top of the mast lost in greyness.

Survival seemed impossible.

Then it got worse.

An apparition, specter, phantom

Walking on the water, and 

Fear turned to horror.

Now it’s been, what, 35 years?

And each time

Every time

Storms threaten

Gales of heartache

Tempests of hunger and thirst

Squalls of persecution

With chains and whips and

Dungeons; cold and loneliness

Every time

Every single time

He has come

Walking over the

Very things that threatened to 

Undo us, destroy us

Smiling, reassuring, calming

The seas. 

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on January 16, 2020, in anabaptist, Bible, Bible Teaching, Christianity, creation, Jesus, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, parables, Peace Shalom Hesed, Poetry, Prayer, Spirituality, The Cross, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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