It looked strange. Well, not if it had been the middle of the summer, but it's February. It would not have looked strange if had been October or November. I don't think this is what scripture means by walking on the water. It did look strange. Odd, indeed.
What it was was a gaggle of geese on the pond. And that normally would not have been a problem, but in February the pond was frozen. Not just some ice, but a lot of ice. Enough that the geese were walking on the pond, …, the ice. And as confusing as it sounded to me, those geese looked confused as well.
During the late Spring, Summer, and Fall, there are always geese on the pond. But as the days grow longer and the snow begins to fly, the geese disappear. And they don't return till March or April. Except that these geese were there.Those geese did not look happy.
They waddled (do geese waddle?) around the ice as if they really expected to find water. This was not home. This was not what they expected to find.
Those geese reminded me of a couple of spiritual issues:
- We all started out lost. We all ended up someplace that we did not expect to be – perhaps it was our family, our job, our home. But we were lost. I remember when I first started seminary in a community just North of Chicago. My wife of five days and I had flown to O'Hare airport and were taking a bus to our new home. As we climbed on the bus, my wife's first comment was, “I've come to one of those places where the sun never shines.” She was lost.
But we all were also spiritually lost at one time. We found ourselves, much as did those geese, in a spiritual place where the Son never shines. When we finally meet the “light of the world” we begin to see the world as God sees it. We begin to see ourselves as God sees us – broken, confused, and lost. And He has found us allowing us to come home.
- We were lost, but we also live in a world that is mostly lost. We live in world that has not recognized that it, like those geese, lives in a world that is far different that God intended for them. It would seem to me that, as best we are able, we should allow the church to be the open pond in the midst of a frozen wasteland. The church will be a place where the cold can get warm, a place where the thirsty can be refreshed.
What does your church offer to the world in which it finds itself? What does my church offer to the world in which it finds itself? Can we offer some relief from the world which sometimes seems cold and unfriendly. I pray that we can find ways to offer God's grace to those who need it most – those who live in this broken world of ours.
Yours because His,