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Peace, Be Still

Posted: 5/11/20 at 7:00am. Written by Caitlin Brown.

Peace, be still; where is your faith? Peace, be still; do not be afraid.

Mark 4:35-41

Caitlin Brown

In a quiet little chapel tucked away on a college campus, we used to get away for 30 minutes once a week for a small service. Filled with many Taizé songs like this one, I would step away from the hurry of a busy schedule and into a few minutes of attempted prayerful peace. Usually at least 20 of those 30 minutes, if not more, were an attempt to forget my chaotic schedule and the noise of the world.

Peace, be still, breathing in as a reminder to trust God in the middle of busy, stressful, pre-COVID-19 days.

This little chant has been in my head these past few weeks. Our storm we are in is not one of wind and rain, but one of an invisible enemy. It’s one that has separated us from the routine, the schedule, and whatever our normal is. We are not on dry land, but in the chaotic, crazy boat. Like the disciples, we are finding ourselves in the storm, and we are scared. We are scared of the future and rightly scared of how this virus is changing our world, our communities, and our families.

But peace, be still; Jesus is in the boat with us. We have the gift now of being still. Jesus was talking to the storm, but how often in normal life do we too need that reminder?

To be still.

Just as the disciples were asked about their faith, this storm is our opportunity as church pastors, lay leaders, and others who pour so much into the life of the church to re-find our faith. To be replenished whether it be by finally reading that book or tuning into a worship service from a beloved church or just to be still with God. In this time of stillness–this commanded peace–we have the time space to find God, to find Christ, standing there in the boat with us.

This is a season of less: no in-person birthday parties, no eating at busy restaurants, no sitting in coffee shops. And while we miss those life-giving things, what voices are you hearing in the quiet?

While Jesus is calming the storm of our lives, what is he speaking to you in this quietness?

What are you learning to not be afraid of?

Caitlin Brown is Collegiate Minister at Old Dominion University in Hampton, VA.