So, it’s not Monday. Obviously.
Sorry to miss my weekly Monday Musings, but I was busy getting ready for Hurricane Sandy at home, which is a slightly drafty farmhouse from 1792 that’s out in the boonies and therefore was certain to lose power and be approximately at the bottom of the priority list when it came to power restoration after the Frankenstorm. I spent most of Sunday afternoon and a fair amount of Monday morning in preparation. I stacked wood. I picked up clutter from the floor so as to ensure no twisted ankles or stubbed toes while trying to walk around in the dark. I packed coolers, filled bath tubs, and arranged my canned food and bottled water supplies. I packed emergency bags for the house and for the car in case we needed to escape to a shelter or got stuck away from home by a tree fallen across the road. I made sure the cat had enough kibble and Ainslie had enough crayons and paper to keep her busy. I arranged candles, matches and flashlights in all the places we might need them. I crumpled up most of the packing paper left over from our move to Keene so I could use it as kindling in our wood stove. I stationed raincoats and boots next to doors and tied down anything outside that might blow away.
I was, in short, a hurricane prepping machine. I evoked Abigail Adams, taking care of home and hearth while her husband was across the world negotiating peace in France. I even braided my hair in a long plait to resemble her more. I am a modern-day Abigail. I am mighty! Yes, I am a dork. But I am one massively prepared dork, okay?
Yet despite all the preparation and Abigail Adams-like heroics, I still felt nervous. I imagined trees falling through windows and days upon days of being stuck in the house with a mischievous cat and a cranky two-year-old. The storm felt so huge and I felt so very, very small.
And then a friend of mine reminded me of Matthew 14.27 and said something that shouldn’t have been so very shocking: “Would you like to pray?”
Seriously, why didn’t I think of that? Because I lost faith, that’s why.
The last third of Matthew is the infamous Jesus walking on water passage, where the disciples are in a boat during a storm and freaking out about it. Jesus comes strolling up to them from across the lake and, in typical Jesus style, says, “Don’t be afraid…Take courage, I am here!” as if it’s the simplest thing in the world. Now, that’s a pretty cool verse, but I like what comes next better: Peter, ever the impulsive one, jumps out of the boat and begins to walk toward Jesus, but his faith fails him and he starts to sink. Jesus, catching him, says, “You have so little faith…Why did you doubt me?” I like The Message translation on this verse the best:
“Faint-heart, what got into you?”
There it is. Faint-heart. There I was, prepared as a human could be, and I wouldn’t have faith in my Maker to see me through the storm. What got into me?
So my friend called me on the phone and we prayed together, and I was reminded of God’s strength and providence (which is a word I believe Abigail Adams would have used) and I made it through the storm just fine. Sure, the power went out, and the cat caught a mouse and started torturing it in the kitchen and Ainslie got bored and it wasn’t the absolute best experience of my life, but neither were we stranded. God provided. And maybe next time, before I freak out, I’ll remember that and I’ll remember to pray.