Walking on water

Treading water.
Not drowning, not waving,
not floating, not falling,
not sinking, not swimming…
Just treading water.
Going nowhere in particular, but getting life done.

Sometimes it’s calm – and I am relaxed, not worried,
at peace and unhurried.
Sometimes it’s rough – the waves carry me to new parts of the same waters,
and life gets stormy.
But still I go nowhere in particular
and all there is for me
is being all at sea… Making an occasional splash,
safe – if wet! – but without direction.
Have you got a life, boy?!

I look to the shore
and I see a figure… he is familiar…
And I wonder if he is fresh from prayer,
or healing, or teaching, or just being there
for those who have needed his presence.
And he comes – walking on the waves towards me.
Not a vision, not a trick of the light, not a ghost,
but the person I need to see the most –

“Don’t be afraid,” he says. And I have no fear.
“Be brave,” he says. And I take courage.
“Have faith,” he says. And I believe.
And I begin to hope and imagine the impossible…

And he speaks those words that I expect but somehow dread.
He speaks those words that excite and challenge
and promise the miraculous.
I hear his voice…
Not still or small,
not in fire or storm,
but commanding – demanding response:
“Come to me!”

And so I come –
walking on the water.

©David Guest, July 2014 (written during Launde Abbey retreat)