Calm in the Chaos

Dear friends,

We’re here at the end of Week 3 of our efforts to “social distance” and “shelter in place” as we work together to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic.  If you’re like me, you’ve felt extreme anxiety, worry, and fear … you’ve felt confusion, frustration, and anger … and you’ve also found humor in unlikely places or tried to remain light and hopeful in what feels like chaotic darkness.

This week I’ve been reminded of a story in the Bible that’s recorded in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25.  In these passages, Jesus sets out in a boat with his disciples and falls asleep.  While asleep, a terrible storm ensues and threatens to swamp the boat.  It was scary enough that the disciples feared for their lives.  Yet somehow in the midst of all the commotion Jesus slept like a log, sawing z’s in the back of the boat.  It wasn’t until the disciples woke him up that Jesus was aware of the storm.  Luke writes, “He rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt like the disciples a lot lately … tossed about, unsteady, chaotic, fearful.  One thing that’s calmed me, though, is my faith.  It’s taken some intentional effort, but I keep reminding myself of the One I follow.  I keep reminding myself that the One I follow knows every hair on my head and holds me in the palm of His hand.  I keep reminding myself that no matter how much this storm rages, the One I follow is right there in the boat with me seeking to help calm me in the chaos.

This week one of my favorite poets and artists (she also happens to be a United Methodist minister J) posted one of her poems on social media.  It hit close to home for me as I seek to maintain my calm and composure in the chaos.  I hope it brings you comfort as it did for me.


Rev. Malinda Weaver



To all that is chaotic

in you,

let there come silence.


Let there be

a calming

of the clamoring,

a stilling

of the voices that

have laid their claim

on you,

that have made their

home in you,


that go with you

even to the

holy places

but will not

let you rest,

will not let you

hear your life

with wholeness

or feel the grace

that fashioned you.


Let what distracts you


Let what divides you


Let there come an end

to what diminishes

and demeans,

and let depart

all that keeps you

in its cage.


Let there be

an opening

into the quiet

that lies beneath

the chaos,

where you find

the peace

you did not think


and see what shimmers

within the storm.


—Jan Richardson

from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

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