At the dog’s insistence, I did get up and once up, stayed up. I fixed a pot of tea and settled on the couch with the newspaper. When the local news came on, I checked on the weather – a tropical storm had formed the previous day in the Gulf of Mexico and bands of rain were forecast throughout the day. Ah, perfect sleeping weather! I did think about climbing the stairs back to my bed, but usually once I’m up, I’m up.My husband came wandering down about then and set his own agenda of running the dogs before the heavy stuff arrived. The boys slept on.
It was tempting to skip church today. I was sleepy. It was raining. And gosh, darn it, I go every Sunday. Shouldn’t I take a day off once in a while?I’m glad I didn’t though. I donned jeans and sneakers in deference to the weather, leaving sleeping boys lie, grabbed my umbrella and braved the storm.
It was a pleasant surprise to see so many cars in the parking lot and so many people in the pews! The cloudy dark outside contrasted beautifully with the soft lighting, as if the service would be held by candlelight. The organ played and people talked in hushed tones or prayed as we waited for the service to begin.Our new organist and the choir seemed to serenade us as we sang along and the voices seemed stronger and clearer than usual both in song and prayer.
The sermon was about fear. Real fear. For the fishermen in the boat who trembled at the wind and waves buffeting them as Jesus slept in the stern; forgetting that the Son of God himself was in their boat. For the king who sent a boy to fight a giant; trying to protect that boy with ill-fitting armor that limited his movement. For our rector’s wife, a passenger in a plane our rector was piloting when there was a flight emergency, and for our rector himself at the thought of illness removing him from his family. And for all of us because who hasn’t felt real fear at one time or another?As rain beat on the roof and darkness surrounded the building outside, light fell softly on our shoulders as we listened to words of God’s grace, His presence removing the need for fear if only we would pay attention and move forward, confident of His love. What couldn’t we accomplish? A calming of the seas. The besting of a giant. A safe landing. A successful treatment.
All we have to do is let go of what we cannot control. That’s a hard thing to do, especially for Type-A personalities like me. It gets easier with practice though, and hearing it again today was a gift.I’m glad the dog insisted I get up. I might have missed something wonderful had I not.