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.
8 Replies to “PEACE! BE STILL!”
You’re probably right about the disasters we’ve been unknowingly rescued from. Maybe they’ll be revealed to us. In case we still need to be humbled down. It would be a good lesson. And He’s an awfully good teacher .
Thanks, Heather. Always. This one with so many smiles.
Thank you, dear Lawrence! Lest we dash our foot against a stone…
I love that you address “us jumpy types!”.
Ha, Beth, I believe the good Lord has a special place for us in His heart!
I love that painting! The flailing, the depths and wind, and Jesus *trying* to take a break. In the end, he has us, doesn’t he?
Yes, Greg C–whether we lose our wallet or not!!
Good morning. One early bright summer day last year I saw a stranger walking around our house. I went out to confront him and he asked if I was “Charles Michaud” and I asked him, “who wants to know?” Maybe not those exact words, but the attitude is accurate. He told me he found my wallet at the end of his driveway just around the corner from my house and returned it to me. Like you, nothing was missing, nothing was compromised. Humbled, thanked him. Apparently, it fell out my pocket on a late night walk the night before.
Not knowing someone in our neighborhood is unusual, especially someone who lives so close. Pre-COVID-19, we would get together frequently to watch Patriots games, etc., etc. I often think of that person’s kindness and honesty. Interesting though, I rarely see him even though I walk by his house every day. Makes me wonder.
Ha, that’s another variation on the good Samaritan story–when we’re initially suspicious of and not all that kind to the person who’s actually doing us a huge favor! All’s well that ends well–maybe you’ll end up doing him a good turn someday…thanks, Charlie–