Open your eyes.

A story Coffin gave when he preached at United’s chapel, which I just found in his collected sermons: “Consider, if you will, how many things we long and pray for that are ours already, neglected, unappropriated—but ours. Let me give you an example. In the early 1800s, a tall sailing ship, headed for China, ran into trouble around the horn of South America. Beaten by storms unparalleled in any other part of the world, with its masts down, its lifeboats destroyed, its crew starving and dying of thirst. It lay helpless off the jungles of Brazil. Suddenly like a mirage, a proud clipper ship appeared on the horizon under full sail. As it came near, a midshipman on the disabled vessel, struggled to his feet and, grasping two flags, in semaphore began feebly to signal, ‘Water, water!’ Back came the answer from the clipper ship in semaphore: ‘Lower your buckets. You are in the mouth of the Amazon.’ That’s what the kingdom of heaven is like–it’s in the midst of us.” The Collected Sermons of William Sloane Coffin: The Riverside Years, Volume 2 (2008), p. 68. Can we trust God enough to let down our buckets?

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