Who is accompanying you?

Mark 6:47-56

47When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. 48When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. 49But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ 51Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

One of the great gifts of my life is that I have been married to the same woman for 37 years. We have been together virturally without a significant separation since we were both 19. We remain close to the two children we have raised together and who live nearby along with the three grandchildren with whom we are now thrilled to share our lives.

All this means that, except for a few intentional times alone, I have not spent much of the past 41 years by myself. For all of my adult life I have been closely and intimately accompanied on my journey by a few human beings with whom I share deep openness, support, love, and encouragement.

You might think this would mean that in the past four decades I have never had a single moment went I felt lonely. You would be wrong.

Even in the most intimate loving and supportive relationship there are moments when two people, no matter how close they may be, feel a sense of disconnect. No matter how well two people communicate, there will be times of misunderstanding, times when they feel a deep chasm keeping them apart even when they are together.

No human relationship can serve as an adequate substitute for the experience of Jesus accompanying us in the boat of our lives as we make our way across the lake “against an adverse wind“.

When my heart opens to the invisible presence of the source of that love I have for those in my life I cherish, then I know the touch of that presence who accompanies me even when I feel most alone.