Friday, 8 August 2008
Today I drove through the Pig Root to Naseby and back home again through Middlemarch and Outram. Skies were grey and there was crusting of light snow over most of the Maniatoto. On the high ridge between Middlemarch and Outram I ran into a blizzard; snow traveling horizontally, blown by winds strongly enough that it was not settling on the windscreen but packing up tightly on the windward side of trees, sheep huddling and putting their backs to it all. The storm had not been going long enough to have built up much depth of snow on the road, so driving was safe enough. Sitting inside a heated steel cocoon, it all raged around me, except when I simply had to stop and dash outside to photograph some snow encrusted tree or other.
Out into the swirling cold, like Peter leaving the small wooden safety of his boat, I suppose, to venture out into the stuff that could quite conceivably kill you if you were in it long enough. And in the frothing white, where all the action is, far from the safety of boat or car, is where Jesus is to be found strolling unconcerned. I was reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer later in the afternoon, and he said that although our faith is formed and nurtured in community, it is out there that we actually belong. Out there where it is thrilling in its power but deadly in its intensity.