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  • Writer's picturePhil


Grace Darling - to the rescue off the Farne Islands

To live an untethered life

means that we may well find ourselves

at the mercy of wind and wave.

Besieged by storm and circumstance,

carried by the tide,

thrown off course,

we can find ourselves run aground,

clinging to the hope –

that we might loosen our grip

of individual claim and right,

and hold to a shared ownership

of this rock of truth.

Fissure cracks unearthed

by seismic change,

fresh and raw,

now open to the elements,

make it easy for fracture

and the heartbreak of division

and disunity to split our truth apart.

But as we find each precious piece,

like flotsam and jetsam

washed up

on distant shore

and held safe

in the hands of someone else,

might we come together

and re-form?

As a new picture emerges

a re-seeing, re-imagining

reconciling of ourselves

and each other.

We are all at the mercy of the storm

regardless of where we stand.

Port or starboard, aft or stern ,

it’s the same boat,

traversing the same waters.

Whether we sink or swim, might well depend upon who or what we cling to,

or of what we let go.

JESUS IN THE STORM When evening had come, Jesus 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 Gospel of Mark, chapter 4, verses 35-41

"Still in the Storm" - painted by Jan Richardson

Blessing in the Storm

I cannot claim to still the storm that has seized you,

cannot calm the waves that wash through your soul, that break against your fierce and aching heart.

But I will wade into these waters, will stand with you in this storm, will say peace to you in the waves, peace to you in the winds, peace to you in every moment that finds you still within the storm.

Jan Richardson,

to her husband as he went through his own storm.

I speak to the raging waters in my life:

peace, be still.

I say to my emotions,

peace, be still.

I say to my mind,

peace, be still.

I say to my body,

peace, be still.

I say to my home,

peace, be still.

I say to my family,

peace, be still.

I speak to:

every mountain of fear,

do not be afraid

every mountain of discouragement,

do not be afraid

every mountain of stress,

do not be afraid

every mountain of depression,

do not be afraid

every mountain of lack and insufficiency,

do not be afraid

Be still and know that God is God,

exalted high among nations,

exalted in all the earth.

O God, from whom to turn is to fall, to whom to be turned is to rise, and in whom to stand is to abide forever.

Grant us in all our duties your help, in all our perplexities your guidance, in all our dangers your protection, and in all our sorrows your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Augustine of Hippo

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