The glass bell, it seemed like a glass bell,
Not for ringing, or for an African violet,
Or to grow an orchid, encase a clock,
But to keep the storm out from around my canoe.
A large glass bell at least 30 feet across
Lowered from heaven--
But let me start from the beginning.
A Sunday afternoon years ago when the children were young,
Sleeping with their mother in our houseboat
Tied up at the dock on Babine Lake
More than seven hundred miles North
Of the Canada/U.S. border.
I wanted space that afternoon,
I wanted a new perspective,
A conversation with God,
If He would grant it.
A peaceful blue-sky afternoon,
So I settled on taking the canoe quietly
And paddling to a point 2 miles up the lake.
On the west side of that isthmus
Of poplars, pine, alders and rocks,
I knew a small sunny bay
Where I planned to anchor alone,
Pray and write, maybe nap
In the bottom of the craft.
The sun shone, the water was placid,
Trees coming down from the surrounding hills
To lean over the water
Were many shades of verdant green.
Fish jumped here and there, trout after flies.
I rounded the point, anchored the canoe offshore,
And began to meditate, write and pray.
The sun was warm,
A family of otters swam by, loons called and dived.
I felt sleepy, so I lay back out of sight and slept.
When I awoke, it was late, time to head home.
By the time I rounded the point,
The wind had come up, the waves were high
The wind prevented me any progress as I paddled
Hard, just barely keeping my bow
Into the wind, or I would capsize.
I remembered the story of Jesus in the boat
Crossing the sea of Gallelee and how he fell asleep.
A storm came up and the disciples feared for their lives.
Jesus slept on. They woke him and he said
"O ye of little faith!"
He stood up in the boat
And said "Peace, be still!"
The storm stopped,
The waves became calm.
I was desperate.
I laid down my paddle,
Kneeled in the pitching canoe,
Raised my hands and cried
"In the name of Jesus, Peace be still!"
Immediately a calm descended.
Not on the whole lake,
A calm only in about a 30 foot circle around me,
As if a large glass bell had been lowered.
I paddled in calm water with no wind
As the storm and waves shouted
In tumult just outside my circle
Can you blame me?
I paddled home in awe
with a worshipping heart.