Walking on Water

Walking on water Flickr ted

Jesus sends me off to pray
in my boat of words.

I begin to row.
Even though I know
he’s gone off to the hills,
I look for him beside me,
remember our hands touching,
while he slept in the stern.

A sprinkling of thoughts
are soon droplets of desire,
driven by restless winds
and desolation.

Why isn’t he here? 

I row my thoughts,
press them harder,
beg my prayers to carry me across the divide.
But the shore remains distant.

Then he appears
a ghost
walking on the water.

I step out with nothing solid under my feet,
praying without words or strategies,
trusting only his gaze.

It’s exhilarating
waves of doubt slap my feet,
soak my pants,
pull me down
into the cold, dark sea.

You’re going to drown, says the wind.

Water swallows my ankles, my knees, my thighs.

He grasps my hand.
My heart leaps open,
and then
we’re walking on water.

Then by Anne Y

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” –Matthew 14:22-33 (NIV)

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

KeatingI first began praying without words when I ran out of them and found myself drawn to just rest in God’s presence. A few years later, in what is now called Living from the Heart, I was introduced to the practice of Centering Prayer with a video of Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and founder of Contemplative Outreach. Keating’s life is a vibrant example of the freedom and joy that is the fruit of prayer. His enthusiasm is contagious.

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Icon of Jesus walking on water by Ted. Used with permission.
“Then” by Anne Yungwirth. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2016.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Mystical, Poetry, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Walking on Water

  1. Pingback: What Am I Waiting For? | An Everyday Pilgrim

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