The Fisherman

[Yesterday’s gospel reading inspired my response to today’s prompt.]

The fisherman had left his work, his boat, his nets;
he had left his home, his family, his life
to follow this man who had filled his nets
and then called him to leave them, to follow him.
And he had gone.

Never had the fisherman felt so close to God,
never had he felt so free and yet so safe,
never had he seen such wonders, heard such wisdom.

I could follow him forever, the fisherman thought.
I am happy begging with and for him.
I am content to puzzle over his words.
All I want is to stay close to him, always and forever.

Who was this man, after all, the fisherman asked himself.
A holy man, certainly;
a prophet, without doubt;
the Messiah, perhaps;
but also, it now seemed, a crazy person.

Because now this holy prophet
who perhaps was Messiah
told them to leave him,
not to return to their homes,
but to do all that he did
without him.

“Go,” Jeshua said,
“Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.”

The fisherman struggled with pride and anger.
Pride because the man he called Rabbi and Lord trusted he could do this.
Anger because what that man,
whom he thought might be the Messiah,
asked of him, of them, was absurd.

What had been a privilege suddenly seemed like a trick.
This was more than even the Pharisees expected
and they expected the impossible.

Maybe, just maybe, with intense prayer and strong faith,
he could cure the sick
at least some of the sick
once in awhile.

Maybe, just maybe, with even more prayer and stronger faith,
he could drive out a demon or two
if they cooperated
once in awhile.

But raise the dead? Raise the dead?
His thoughts skewed into panic as he tried to picture it.
He saw himself standing in front of a grieving mother at her son’s funeral
offering hope and delivering – nothing.

Surely that is what will happen, thought the fisherman.
And yet, and yet, I have seen what this man can do,
I have heard his words of wisdom.
I believe in him and he believes in me.

Can I do this, the fisherman asked himself.
And then he remembered the words of that frantic father,
“I believe, Lord, help thou my unbelief.”

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