On October 27, 1915 the explorer Shackelton's ship the Endurance had to be abandoned as it was crushed by ice. The crew took refuge on remote Elephant island. Shackelton and five other men got in a 22 foot lifeboat and traveled 800 miles over the ocean in winter conditions to get help. Twenty-two of their companions stayed behind in a makeshift shelter for four months. Their diet was penguin meat and occasionally seal meat. The highlight was once when they found undigested fish in the stomach of a seal. It was a rare treat. It was bitter cold with winds of up to 100 mph. One of the men had a cookbook. They would read one recipe a day slowly to savor the thought of each ingredient. They would spend hours talking about possible changes in the recipe. It was a joyous day when they were finally rescued.
We are stranded in a cold, dark world waiting for rescue. Our hearts survive on a diet of pain, sorrow, and frustration. But we have a recipe book of real food. We gather to worship and we dream and hope for rescue when our hearts will have a diet of peace, love, community, and joy.
Bill Roberts is Ministerial Director for the Washington Conference