The diary entries are extracts from my spiritual journey, going back about twenty years.
No, I tell you this because I was told to tell it – by what you might call ‘ a higher authority’ – and truth is, the thought of how to tell it has taxed me for so many years.Miss Garnet’s Angel, Sally Vickers
I spent much of yesterday in pain or asleep. My companion gave me some pictures (I picked them out actually) of Peter denying Jesus three times and Peter getting out of the boat to try to walk on the water. Since I meditated on the latter last year, I chose the former to work with. There were several ways the scene seemed to play in my head, but they were to me contrived, intellectual, my brain working them out. The only one that wasn’t only got as far as the servant girl saying to me:
You were with Him, you are with Him, aren’t you?
And I couldn’t reply to her. I said to Jesus:
I want to say You are my Lord, You are my God. You are everything to me. You are my wisdom and my fire, the reason I am who I am, the reason I do what I do.
But I couldn’t. I was awkward, embarrassed, afraid. Anything other than the above would be a denial, I wouldn’t even have to say no.
Today I contemplated the boat story again. This was, I think, the first time for a long time that I’ve been able to be in the story and let it take its own life. It feels like it anyway and I’ve missed that.
Anyway, I was in a small rowing boat on my own, being tossed about all over the place. I was sick over the side and I lay on the bottom of the boat with my arms and legs braced on the sides. I felt like I just wanted to die.
God help me!
I cried. the next thing I heard
and I sat up, feeling very woozy in the process. I could see Jesus in the distance, walking on top of the water. There was a fairly calm path to Him, but the storm was all around.
Jesus, can I do that?
Come on then.
He replied. I stood up to step out and the boat wobbled. I put my hand out over the side (after sitting down again) and felt the black water giving way to me.
Yes, you can, come on.
I can’t, I can’t.
and I started crying.
I’m not brave enough. I’m worthless. I have no courage and I have no faith.
He told the water to be calm and it became glassy smooth. He walked over and came into the boat with me. He held me and I cried.
I’m sorry. I’m so useless.
He turned me round so He could cuddle me from behind.
It’s okay; it’s okay.
He said, as He stroked my hair.
Do you want to try again?
And we went back to the point where I cried out:
God help me!
It happened the same until the point where I stood up and the boat wobbled. This time I closed my eyes and stepped out. The water came above my ankles, but no further.
You can do this.
He called to me and I walked towards Him. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes I would step in up to my knees and I would begin to be afraid, but He kept encouraging me. When I reached Him, He held me and helped me back into the boat. I was laughing and crying at the same time.
I knew you could do it. You just have to believe in Me.
He said and He held me as before and stroked my hair and kissed the back of my head. He squeezed me tightly to Him and said:
Mine, and I’m yours.
The storm was all around us but in the eye of it was our calm, flat little bit of water with our still, safe boat.