Alyssa Sellers

Out Onto the Water

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2014 River facing North BRIGHTFrustrated with the lack of productivity on a rare day-off, I walked down to the Willamette River, past the South Waterfront Garden and sat on a bench that jutted out over the river bank looking north toward the Hawthorne, Morison and Steele Bridges.

Looking out on the water, I recalled what I’d read earlier in a book about Peter walking on water to Jesus. In Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, Bell writes that when Peter started sinking below the waves, Peter lost faith in himself.  Jesus, on the other hand, never lost faith in Peter.

Bell writes, “The entire rabbinical system was based on the rabbi having faith in his disciples.” And later, “God has an incredibly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things. I’ve been told that I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that Jesus believes in me.”

Jesus saw something in his disciples that other rabbis had over looked. Jesus believed in them. He believed that they could become like him. So when Jesus says that he is the light of the world and then later says that we are, he really means it.

While seated on the river bank, I thought how maybe that day was supposed to be my Sabbath and I missed the point entirely because I kept thinking about the work I felt I was supposed to do instead of being still and enjoying the gift of a low-key day. A day where I didn’t actually go anywhere or do anything and God would still love me. I would still be his daughter. He would still believe in me and the potential he has placed in me.

“You are the light of the world.”~Jesus (Matthew 5:14)

“Come,” Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:29-31)


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