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by collette mcfarland 
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Friday, July 18, 2008

That was the most fascinating thing I’ve ever witnessed. I know people can pull through in a crisis but this wasn’t really a crisis. So some would go to bed hungry tonight, so what? But after the motivational “speaker” was through with his spontaneous presentation one little boy brought up his uneaten lunch to share with this colossal crowd and suddenly everyone was inspired to share theirs with those that had nothing. It was like Woodstock, except everyone was high on love, not dope. (Not that I’m old enough to remember Woodstock, I just heard about it!)

Now with a full stomach I was ready to head home. There were boats pulling out from the dock now, so I took that as my cue to gather my stuff together. As I headed down hill I spied the “speaker” heading up hill, by himself. Pretty brave fellow, there were wild animals in this area. I didn’t see anything on him that resembled a weapon, not that hunting was allowed this time of year. I hope he knows what he’s doing.

I found a craft accepting one more body and climbed aboard. I discovered the “speaker’s” traveling buddies were going across with me. They were staring after “speaker” mumbling to themselves and shaking their heads. Apparently they thought he should be with us. Oh well. He was an adult.

The sky was dark, of course it was well past sunset, but it was dark in that way that indicates heavy clouds were between us and the solar system. I just wanted to get to the other side where my car was parked so I could get home.

Plip, plop. Plip, plop. Here it comes, half way across the body of water; the big body of water. Land on either side of us was invisible. The wind whipped about, the waves sloshed up, the heavens opened, rain descended; and me without a raincoat or umbrella. Those that had umbrellas weren’t fairing to well anyway. What was supposed to be domed protection from the elements had now become cone shaped containers for the rain. The umbrella owner’s were shaking them furiously in disappointment and frustration, coming close to snagging a few eyes from those too close.

I was close to the rail holding on for dear life, but surprisingly exhilarated. People were complaining and whining but I was just going with the flow, no pun intended. What else could I do? “Speaker” had just finished telling us that worrying didn’t change circumstances or make us bigger, I had no trouble believing that, especially as my aging body was actually shrinking from disc degeneration.

The vessel dipped into a large wave and I lost my hold on the slippery rail. That wouldn’t be so bad if I had fallen inward, but no, my traitorous body fell outward, into the raging water. Down, down I went, till I started back up; at least I think it was up, in the dark water up and down looked pretty much the same! My head popped up above the waves so I could witness the craft continue on its journey.

Okay, I think the word panic is underrated. Now I have something to worry about and “Speaker” was right, worrying wasn’t going to get me out of this predicament, er.. . water. My mouth and eyes filled with water from under me and above me. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. My shoes were keeping me from treading water easily so I tried to pull them off.

The boat! It was coming back! I saw light scanning the surface, they were looking for me! But at this point I think it was going to be a recovery mission. I wasn’t going to last much longer, fluid was going into my lungs and my strength was waning. They would never see my small brunette head in this massive lake in the dark. Boy, what a pessimist, one little thing goes wrong and I give up.

The light hit something behind me. In front of me? Beside me? Oh heck which direction is which when you’re sinking in water? Like I said, the light hit something and stayed focused on it. What was it? A hallucination! I must be close to death, I hear you see things in the other world when you’re almost ready to give up the spirit. It was a human form approaching, casually as though taking a stroll on a well tread path. I stopped flaying and stared, ready to ascend to heaven (or so I hoped, remembering my not so good life.)

The silhouette stopped in front of me, squatted down and placed his hands on his knee, rain dripping from the brim of his hat, reminding me of an old country western song. It was “Speaker”! He met my eyes and smiled. I’m glad someone could smile, my mouth was wide open, not a good thing when you’re neck deep in water. Water splashed in my mouth, I spit it back out, more water came in, I repeated the cycle.

“Uh, do you mind giving me a hand here?” I queried, sort of offhandedly.

“Does it matter which hand?” Oh, great, a champion with a sense of humor.

“Not really.” I sputtered. A hand came down to me and pulled me up, slowly. Backing away he continued to assist me. My feet rose until I was only up to my ankles. I felt as though I was walking on solid ground, but I pointed my toes and prodded about, nothing but water. Amazing. Speaker didn’t seem perturbed about the lack of substance below us. Presumably, this was no big deal to him.

Without letting go of my hand, (with the death grip I had on his he wouldn’t have been able too), Speaker led me to the boat’s ladder through the torrent with no apparent urgency, conversing nonchalantly about how the area farmers needed this rain. I was unable to contribute to the dialogue, being in some level of shock. Hands reached for me to facilitate my rescue. I could only imagine the looks on their faces as the lights aimed at us were blinding me.

As I ascended the steps Speaker whispered in my ear,”Let’s not tell them where the sand bar is.” Sandbar? There wasn’t one! I know, remember, I had searched with my feet. There was nothing under us. Well, miles of water, but absolutely no sandbar. Was Speaker playing with my mind?

Once I was aboard every one backed away unsure if they were observing a ghost while Speaker scrambled over the side rail. His pals were the only ones plucky enough to approach him and give him unnecessary aid. He walked on water yet needed help over the side rail, give me a break!

The winds continued, slapping water in our ears, so we couldn’t hear anything that was said between Speaker and his cohorts, but we saw a lot of gesticulating towards the sky and cloudburst. It looked as if the twelve men were giving Speaker what for about the weather, as though it was his fault! Give me a break (again), no one can control nature.

As we all scrutinized the encounter, Speaker raised his arm and moved his lips, (I’m sure audibly to his pals, but we cowards stayed too far to perceive his words. The waters stopped churning and the deluge wrapped up, I genuinely mean wrapped up. No tapering off, no slowing down, just stopped. Suddenly. The clouds were gone, moonlight and stars filled the heavens and Speaker laid down on a nearby bench to rest. What could he be exhausted about, I was the one who had treaded water for …..Well I want to say forever but that would be an exaggeration. Speaker laid down to rest and so did I, though not as voluntarily. Those nearby barely kept my head from cracking on the floorboards. That would have been ironic, rescued from the deep only to suffer a concussion aboard ship! When I wake up I’m sure I’ll discover this was one heck of a dream…Or will I?

Math 14:13-33
mark 6:30-51
luke 8:22-25

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