One morning last week I attended 8:15 Mass at St. Andrew’s down the street, stayed a bit afterwards to pray, then walked to my car and drove to the writing studio I’ve been renting for the past few months.
I turned on the heat, made tea, plugged in my laptop, opened the blinds and launched into the day’s work: answering emails, working on that week’s column, paying bills, updating the plug-ins on my website, responding to texts, snacking–you know how it goes.
After a few hours, I prayed the Angelus, and ate lunch, and went back to work. Doop-di-do and all was well.
Around 2:00, I glanced at my phone, noticed a Voicemail and saw the transcription: “I have your wallet at the giftshop at the church.”
My wallet! I scrounged in my purse and sure enough, the wallet was not there! But this kind person had my wallet!
While I’d been working away, completely oblivious to impending disaster, my wallet–my credit and debit cards, Medicare card, library cards, license, dogeared Act of Contrition, Sacred Hear Badge, St. Michael the Archangel prayer, and about 80 bucks in cash–had been curled up in the back of the boat taking a nap, secure in the knowledge that it would be safely returned to its rightful owner!
That some Good Samaritan had found my wallet and, without touching a thing, turned it in for safekeeping was of course in itself deeply heartening. But what really tickled me was the finessing, once again, of my perpetually-on-alert nervous system. “Stay awake!” Christ said: for us jumpy types, I always think, how about a plug for sleep?
That’s probably why I’ve always gotten a huge kick out of the parable, referenced above, where Christ is out fishing with the disciples, he takes the opportunity to snuggle up in the stern and take a nap, and a storm comes up (Matthew 8:23–27, Mark 4:35–41, and Luke 8:22-25).
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” the disciples ask.
Keep your shirt on, Christ says, in so many words, then rebukes the wind by ordering the sea, “Peace! Be still!”
The disciples, of course, can hardly believe their eyes, and you get the distinct impression that Christ shook his head–Oh ye of little faith–and went back to his nap.
Anyway, I made my way down to St. Andrew’s, I was graced to meet the beneificent Maria, and best of all, I got to enter the sanctuary, sit before the Blessed Sacrament for a bit, and reflect that, without knowing it, I have probably been similarly saved from “disaster” tens of thousands of time throughout my life. (I have had my wallet stolen before and it really is pretty awful, though not a disaster).
So “Peace! Be still!”
And oh–for more trust.