On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”  (Mark 4:35–41)

Offshore    by Magdalena I. García
A reflection and confession based on Mark 4:35–41

familiar faces
comfortable places
secure spaces
Normally we say, “Let’s stay on the shore.”

unknown faces
inconvenient places
uncertain spaces
Usually you say, “Let’s move offshore.”

the winds roar
the waves rise
the boat floods
In the crossing we encounter a storm.

a gale pounds us
the chaos overwhelms us
desperation overtakes us
In the surge we glimpse a shipwreck.

“We’re dying, we’re dying!,” we cry.
“Believe, believe!,” you reply.

Rebuke us, God of the Wind,
for doubting your presence offshore.
Rebuke us, God of the Sea,
for underestimating your power in the storm.

Empower us, Navigating God,
to sail boldly towards another shore.
Empower us, Traversing God,
to cross confidently towards the other side.

Magdalena I. García is a PC(USA) teaching elder and a hospice chaplain for Vitas Healthcare in Chicago. She is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary and a recipient of the 2008 PC(USA) Women of Faith Award. For permission to use content, write to magdalenagarcia@comcast.net.

NOTE: this material is originally displayed here in Presbyterians Today (with “zoomable” screenshots below)

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Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 10:25 AM
To: Steve Long
Subject: Re: Great job on Offshore!
Hi, Steve.
I’m so glad that you and others are finding my musings inspirational. You have my permission to share the material with proper credits.
From: “Steve Long”
To: “magdalenagarcia” <magdalenagarcia@comcast.net>
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 9:00:54 AM
Subject: Great job on Offshore!

Hi Magdalena,
I really enjoyed reading Offshore and have shared it as a post on the Christian Playbook site
(https://christianplaybook.longmemories.info/christian-playbook-posting) plus liked it and shared it on Facebook.  Thanks for your creative efforts and sharing them with the PCUSA community!