I’ve stopped reading fiction as a Lenten discipline and in its place I’m reading the Gospels. It’s been good simply to read them as I would any other book. Last night I was reading in Mark the story of the storm at sea. Jesus was asleep in the boat while the disciples were fighting waves and rising terror as the sea threatened to swamp their boat.
What I noticed was that the text records there were other boats in the flotilla. Interesting that. Presumably the disciples were not lesser boatsmen than were the others, so presumably the terror of the storm was shared across all the boats. No real surprise there. But it’s what happens after the storm is calmed that caught my imagination.
The story says that after Jesus speaks the words of peace to the storm, the disciples are terrified. The terror of the storm is replaced by the terror of the one who stopped it. But for all those who were in the other boats the calming of the storm was, presumably, a sense of relief. To them it was just a natural phenomenon which had blown itself out; they maybe even complimented themselves on their skill in riding out the storm. The miracle just depended on where you were at the time.
It made me wonder whether there are miracles in every day that I am missing. Just don’t see them because I’m not close enough to where the real action is, thinking what really matters is how well I’m paddling.