for all of them saw him, and were terrified. But Jesus at once spoke to them. “Courage!” he said,“it is I; do not be afraid!”
in terrors midst
driving us twice as far
into a foot-sucking slough
a light-footed faun
shifts from tripping up
to topping up
relax WE ARE
Were the pond still, we can imagine a strong surface tension (perhaps enough to hold one up if feet were broad enough). But the waters are roiling. Anyone moving over the face of this deep goes beyond our understanding. The Twelve represent well our experience of G*D once we get beyond pat phrases and repeated praises. Terror, confusion, and trouble right here are all ways we know we are beyond awe and in a wilderness of testing.
Caught between wanting this apparition to pass by, which it seems was its intention, and wanting Jesus to step in, we are at sixes and sevens—an internal reflection of our external setting.
This trouble we are in traps us in our fear. From previous accounts of people being troubled, we might remember “angelic” visitations that offered an encouraging word, “Peace”. That same pronouncement is here in the form of the result of “Peace”—“Courage”. [Note: This is a two-way street. Peace gives courage to act. Courage to act brings peace.]
One of the questions is why a goodly many translations translate ἐγώ εἰμί (ego eimi, I am) as “It’s me”, when this same phrase in 13:6 and 14:62 has “I am”, G*D’s self-revelation to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I am who I am”. This potential theophany scene stays in the ghostly here and now with the “weaker” (Aichele25), “It’s me” (which sounds more horrifying than calming in today’s post-Chucky context).
Even if the stronger language were here in English, any befuddled disciples initially responding as Moses did, there is an official end-bracketing of “I am” with an official word of “Peace”.
This strange scene in Mark doesn’t quite make it to a full blown appearance of G*D by a Human One. Nonetheless, “Courage” before a revelation of G*D and “Peace” after is a helpful model upon which we can see our life and lives bob, bob, bobbing along. Courage and Peace, here and elsewhere, are both singular and plural.