"It's a ghost," they screamed. They were terrified when they saw him. Jesus spoke to them at once. "Courage," He said. "It is I." Mark 6:49 & 50 TEV
From the back, the girl in the drugstore looked exactly like my niece. So I boldly tapped a perfect stranger on the shoulder. The young lady was a bit startled, but laughed when I apologized.
It is not unusual to mistake someone for someone else. It is a bit unusual not to recognize someone you work with on a daily basis. The disciples were expecting to meet Jesus at Bethsaida. Of course, they did not expect to see him in the middle of the lake. Of course, they did not expect to see him walking on the water. They did not, and we would not, expect to see anyone walking on water It just isn't done.
Jesus is, of course, teaching the disciples and us that He is there for us in time of trouble. He is also teaching us He can be found in the most unexpected places. Where? Expect to find Him in the lonely, the homeless, the grieving. Did He not say: "In as much as you have done it unto one of these, the least of these, you have done it unto me"? Matthew 25:40.
Yes, we will find Him in church on Sunday morning. But be sure to look for Him out and about Monday through Saturday. He'll be there. And as with the frightened disciples, when we reach out to someone in need, if we listen carefully, we might hear a still small voice saying, "It is I!"
Lord, open our eyes to see your presence in the least expected places. Amen.