St. Mary’s as my Safe Harbor

Weekly Reflection, Friday, August 26

By: Meriwether Roberts

While some Christians wear a Cross necklace as a symbol of their faith, I wear an anchor. Most assume the anchor represents my love of sailing but to me it has a deeper meaning. Anchors are found throughout the bible alongside fishermen and storms in parables that help us understand the stability and constancy of God’s love. My favorite reference, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure,” is hidden within the passage “The Certainty of God’s Promise” as God is reaffirming his commitment to us (Hebrews 6:19). As a competitive offshore sailor who has spent many days and nights at sea, I understand what level of hope, safety, and security anchors convey just as the Hebrews did.

This summer, I sailed in the 635-nautical mile, Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda Race. Sailing across the open ocean can feel hauntingly isolated. This race was particularly challenging as we navigated through washing-machine-like waves and unrelenting winds. Non-sailors always ask me, “Why do you do it? Aren’t you afraid? And what do you do if there’s a big storm?” The simplest answers are: “I love to sail!” and “We keep racing unless it gets really bad, then we throw out a sea anchor.” A sea anchor, just like the metaphorical anchor in the passage, provides safety and stability in the worst storms. Fortunately, I have only used anchors in port, but I find comfort and solace in knowing we always have an anchor on board.

My necklace is a symbol of that comfort. It represents the faith, stability, and security I have in God. With my faith as my anchor, I know I can weather anything. However, a true anchor needs something firm, like a rock, to keep it secure. St. Mary’s has always been the rock that secures my faith even in the most daunting personal storms. My time at St. Mary’s has given me wonderful friendships and a safe harbor to grow as a person in Christ. I am thankful for the opportunities St. Mary’s has provided me, specifically the chance to work closely with the children and youth of our congregation. Each memory fills me with such joy and optimism for their bright futures ahead. Additionally, I thank the staff and the members of the congregation that shepherded me through my own spiritual and musical journey.

In a few days, I will be setting sail on my next adventure as I move to London to complete an MBA program. Almost every aspect of my life is changing like shifting tides and turbulent waters. Despite all this, I leave with peace knowing my anchor will always be there as a reminder of God’s promise. Thanks to this community, I can take each adventure in stride knowing the love and support of the St. Mary’s congregation is grounding me. I will miss St. Mary’s tremendously, but I know this isn’t a permanent goodbye, because sailors always return to port.