... in the wind
When we were small my sister was always frightened of the wind, and the 1987 hurricane was an intimidating experience for everyone.
The recent hurricane did not pass over us directly but around its huge circumference it whipped up the winds with a will. So much so that strong winds drove an inflatable paddling pool high over our street and it disappeared beyond the church on the hill. We don't really have too many extremes of weather in our mild and moderate country. But occasionally nature reminds us that we are part of a wider world, that we are frail and insignificant – physically – in a greater cosmos.
The wind roared that night but I felt that reassuring physical sensation of being warm and dry in bed, while all was wet and windy outside. It reminded me of how the Lord slept – actually slept – through the storm on the Sea of Galilee, which so understandably scared the Apostles. When they woke him in their alarm the Lord quickly dispelled the storm and, as so often, reassured them they need not be afraid. The Lord reminds us that, though we might feel physically frail in a storm – or tiny in the vastness of the universe – our souls are not insignificant, indeed they are valued beyond price. It is hard for us to live up to, but I see this passage of the Gospel as a call to fear nothing on Earth:
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul... Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10.
The Lord sleeps on the boat not because he is God (perfectus Deus), though he is, of course. But because as a man (perfectus homo), He knows that panicking will change nothing, that His complete trust in God will see Him through any earthly travails. Whether they result from human vice, simple accident or the wilder aspects of nature.
When the Lord left the Earth he sent the Holy Spirit "like a mighty rushing wind." And, though it easy to say now looking back, perhaps we should not have been so afeared of the wind in our childhood. As the Psalmist has it:
"He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses."