Stepping Out of the Boat

Jesus: “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus: “Come.”
Peter: “Lord, save me!”

This has been a hard week. The news and disturbing images from Charlottesville have
shaken my boat. I cannot put out of my mind faces of the angry young men carrying
weapons and shields, the injured and dead on the ground, and the silent line of clergy
being peppered with insults. I struggle with how to respond as a person of faith, a citizen
of this country, a person with white skin. I feel like one of the disciples who must have
watched the waves with horror, and in the dark, clung with all their might to the sides of
their storm-tossed boat.

Not knowing what else to do, my first reaction has been to pray: for the people of
Charlottesville, for those injured and dead, for the first responders and clergy, and for
the leaders of this country. My thoughts and prayers have also turned to wondering
about the many young men who bore Nazi and KKK regalia and came with the intent of
committing violence. What happened in their lives that brought them to this? What
must their image of God be like? Many questions.

It’s one thing to keep a firm grip on the boat. It’s another to finally come to the
realization, like Peter, that one must decide whether or not to respond to Jesus’
invitation to step out in faith into the choppy waters. I may not be able to make a
difference in Charlottesville, but how do I step out here in my own community? What
can I do to show God’s love to all people – no matter the color of their skin, age, sex,
ethnicity, or gender identity? I think the events of Charlottesville challenge us all to
wake up and see our world differently and how God calls us to be different.

We have an opportunity to be different coming to Holy Comforter. For a week in
September, we are opening our hearts and facility to provide safe space for homeless
families in the Growing Home program. This program affords stability for families so
parents can care for their children, children can be in school, and families can get back
on their feet. We are in need of many hands and hearts to help us help them. Please
step out in faith and join us for an informational meeting on Wednesday, August 30,
6:30 to 8 pm at Holy Comforter.

Blessings,
Deacon Linda