The Paradox of a Sleeping God | Sojourners

The Paradox of a Sleeping God

Jesus responds, “Where is your faith? Why aren’t you awake!”
The illustration shows a sleeping person, under the stars. It is in black and white.
GeorgePeters / iStock 

ONE SUMMER NIGHT in 1985, I was sitting alone in a banged-up rowboat listening to trees creaking in the breeze, held in that sweet rocking motion made by night wind on water. Suddenly, the stars began to wink out and I was caught in a full-fledged squall. Water whipped up into whitecaps. Leaves and branches swirled overhead. The shore was yards away, so I wasn’t in danger, but the storm’s speed and ferocity were unforgettable. I’ll also never forget that it happened on the Sea of Galilee.

I remember this experience each time I hear the story, told in all three synoptic gospels, about Jesus and the disciples in a similar storm. Surrounded by crowds of suffering people and after several days of healing, perhaps Jesus felt the miracle was turning into a sideshow. He told the disciples to jump into a boat at the Capernaum docks and strike out onto the Sea of Galilee. Jesus led them from the suffering of the masses on the Jewish side to a confrontation with the demon Legion that was occupying a man on the militarized Roman side. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. But first, they must deal with a mid-lake tempest and a god who sleeps through it.

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The image shows the cover of the July 2024 issue of Sojourners magazine, which shows a dove pulling on a string which is pulling up a pillar from the ground. There is a boot trying to crush the pillar back into the ground.
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