daily office meditation, January 20th: God must still be sleeping.

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Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, 'Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?' And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?'

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The winds picked up, turning the world we know inside out. The air itself swirls with saltwater, the waves just keep on pounding, and pounding, and pounding. The sea howls, like Leviathan. 

Waves attack without mercy, without feeling. Waves attack endlessly, like an army of the undead. The wood creaks and cracks and splinters; even the boat has sense enough to cry uncle. The familiar sea, that once brought comfort, now brings terror.

And still he is just lying there, curled up, face serene, in the unencumbered dreamless sleep that surely only fools, drunks and princes ever know. The lightning comes again as a doomsday prophet, to remind us that our end is near. 

I'll be damned...the man is still sleeping.  I'll be damned...long before the sun comes up.

And so I shake him and shake him, as a child would shake a rag doll. I shake him with the possessed frustration of a man incredulous, that his very own teacher doesn't grasp the severity of the situation.

Don't you see? Don't you know?

Don't you care?

He stretches. He yawns. He wipes a little of the crust off his eyes. He speaks to the wind, only once. "Peace be still." 

The wind and waves stop, like my heart. And I just stand there, staring.

Lord, we your disciples knock on your door once again, afraid you still do not grasp the gravity of our situation.