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The Fisherman

I would like to share a story of a fisherman, Bob, who lived close to a river. Bob was a good Christian man who had a family to support. He made a meager living in the town near by and supplemented his provisions with fish he caught in the river. He was a quiet man who lived in peace with himself and others and was respected for his kindness and generosity.

Every now and then a hobo, Jack, would pass by when he was fishing. "Dear Sir, would spare a fish for a lonely man who has no food?" asked Jack each time he passed by. Bob was slightly repelled by the odour and dress of the hobo, but was filled with compassion for Jack and gave him a few fish that he could not really do without, and God knew this.

One day when Jack came by and asked for some fish, Bob gave him some fish and wished him well on his journey. After Jack left Bob herd a voice asking him "Why do you give Jack fish?". Bob was astonished by the question and looked around for the owner of the question.

When he did not see anyone he knew who it was. His reply was "But Father, I have compassion for Jack, what more can I do?". There was no reply, which mystified him. That night during his prayer time Bob asked our Father what he needed to do. Once again he got no answer.

A few weeks later when Jack came by again Bob had forgotten about the question. After Bob gave Jack some fish Bob heard the question again. Once again Bob was puzzled. He had a restless night that night and didn't know what else he could do.

The third time Jack came by Bob remembered the question our Father had asked him. When Jack asked him for some fish Bob was about to give him some and then 'the penny dropped' and he understood the question. Bob's reply was "No, I'm not giving you any fish. But come and sit beside me and I will teach you how to catch fish". Mildly surprised by the request Jack sat down.

Bob got a long branch and line and a hook with some food scrap attached, and gave it to Jack, and showed him what to do.

While they were fishing Bob was able to share his story about his own life and share his experiences with Jack. Jack was a lonely person and related his own story with tears in his eyes. No one had ever stopped to listen to his story. Jack's story touched Bob in a way that he had never experienced before. Bob felt a bond of Love between Jack and himself that came from the Holy Spirit, and from out of nowhere he started talking about Jesus.

As the time passed by Bob felt a change in Jack. Jack felt different. Jack felt his burden being lifted of him. For the first time in his life Jack felt Loved.

A few hours later after they both caught some fish Bob invited Jack to his humble home to share a meal and prayer time with his family. Jack was welcome into Bob's home anytime he passed by. And God was pleased, both Bob and Jack were blessed, and richer for the experience. Bob did not need to give Jack any fish anymore. Jack was empowered in being able to provide for himself and others, and shared the message of Jesus whenever he was led by the Spirit.

How will you respond when our Father calls?

Am I Available...

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