In the midst of the storm

In the gospel of Mark’s story of the boat in the storm, the disciples are caught up in the certainty that they are about to founder and drown and die; they wake Jesus and beg for help. And there is at least a little resemblance between Jesus’s response here and his response to his parents at the age of twelve, when, after three days of frantic panicked searching they find him sitting in the temple questioning the elders. “Why are you searching for me? Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?” he says. Today he says to the disciples “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”

Julian says that the place Jesus takes in our soul, blissfully reigning in peace, he shall never remove from there without end. So Jesus is there, “resting on the cushions” in the center of our soul—he is the very center of gravity of our souls, our bodies, of the universe itself, and from that place he trusts us to bear the life he has given us. And Jesus asks us to trust him, whatever may be swirling about in our own lives, whatever may be our present fears and lived experience.

It is this mutuality of regard and trust that Jesus—by means of our difficulties, fears, troubles and distresses and not in spite of them—this is what Jesus is working to bring us into, and how he is growing us up into spiritual adulthood. Jesus has set us on the sure foundation of his lovingkindness, and will not fail us or forsake us, without end.

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