Faith in the midst of the storm!

 The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear.” Those are the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson. As we sit through our first winter storm I was reminded of those words. All we can do is hunker down for the night. It is kind of nice to be squirreled away in the basement in front of a fire, looking out at the fury of it all.  Looking at the storm and seeing it as metaphor I confess that the weather reflects y feeling in a way. It is why those words are echoing in my ears.  I confess that in all of the excitement of last weekend, I had not the time to check in completely with my emotions around all of these exciting plans at St. Mark’s. I spoke on Sunday about responding in faith and being a people who trust in God. I spoke about the need to not be paralyzed by fear. When we are being called to moved ahead boldly, there is no doubt that it is natural to feel some fear. Today as I look out at the snow and see the flakes blow to and fro wildly, I feel a connection. This ride that I am on, life itself, some days feels just like that flake of snow blowing uncontrollably in the wind. Perhaps you can relate?  Perhaps you, like me, are often uncertain about where the next bend in the road is. Perhaps you, like me are often a little scared about the future, as we are tossed about we often have little certainly about tomorrow. Perhaps you have had to say, like me, “I am not in control, God is.”Perhaps you, like me, have come to a place of prayer to ask that God would bring deliverance from fear. I have come to understand that I cannot expect to be freed from all danger. I cannot be assured of pain free life. But I can be comforted in the knowledge that God wants me to live in Faith, act in Faith, decide in Faith, be free in Faith. That is the very nature of God’s presence – Faith is the opposite of fear and as each storms comes in life we should prayer to be delivered fro the fear we have in the midst of it. Pray for the courage to love in the midst of the storm.
I have had several conversations with people over the last two days about the plans at St. Mark’s. I have had conversations about the relationship this project has with the Diocese of Huron. I have felt the storm rage inside as I have had to rely on God to give me faith that we will see this project come to full fruition. It may be true to say that there are those at the diocesan level who are governed by fear and who succumb to fear in the midst of the storm of their uncertainty, I have come to understand that I do not need to get brought into that fear. God will do God’s work in the community of St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. God has given us the faith to understand the good things that are happening in this community.
I look at the snow blowing all about  – it is wild and yet it is beautiful. The danger brings a sense of wonder in all of the storming. In the midst of the wind, the snow and the uncertainty – God is there. I have moments of fear in the midst of all storms, but I know in prayer that God will deliver me from fear that I might continue to act I faith.  
In the Roman Calendar it is the commemoration of St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph. His life was a great witness to love, faith and humility.
"Brother Giles Mary tried to approach each day with an attitude of wanting to serve God. He was grateful for his calling and it showed. Brother Giles walked up and down the halls where he lived. He was the porter. He opened the door promptly and with a smile every time a visitor pulled the rope that rang the bell. He took gentle care of the poor, the homeless, the ill who came to that door. He was given the responsibility of distributing the food and alms that his community could spare. Brother Giles Mary loved to do that. No matter how much he gave to needy people, so much remained for others. He knew it was St. Joseph who did this. After all, St. Joseph had once taken such good care of Jesus and Mary. Brother Giles Mary spread devotion to St. Joseph throughout his whole religious life.
After a life of faithfulness to God and his chosen vocation, Brother Giles Mary-of-St.-Joseph died on February 7, 1812. He was declared "blessed" by Pope Pius IX in 1888." He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 2 1996. This life of service is really something we should all take a little more seriously.

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