Tuesday, March 01, 2011

"The Fisherman" - A Parable

For seafood lovers, there is nothing better than Sunday brunch at Lou's.  Even people who don't like seafood enjoy his crab-filled omelets, seafood quiche, and Lobster Benedict.  There's always a wait, but it's worth it.
A kind-looking gentleman strolled past the line of people waiting outside on the sidewalk.  He carried a fishing pole in one hand and a large tackle box in the other.  His long waders disappeared under a beige fishing vest and a net was slung over his back.  He fumbled with the pole and the box as he made his way through the door to get his name on the list and again when he stepped outside to join the growing number of guests waiting in the early afternoon sunshine.

"Are you a fisherman?"

A little girl looked up at him admiring the shiny lures covering his fishing hat and vest.

"I am," replied the man.  He took off his hat and knelt down so she could get a better look at the lures.  "This one is for bluegill," he said, "and this one is for big mouth bass."  One by one, he told her all about the different lures.  Her parents were thankful for something to keep her interest during the wait.  Her dad was listening, too.  He enjoyed fishing,
but never had much luck with it.  He hoped to learn some secrets from a real fisherman.

"You must love fish," she said.

"It's my favorite," replied the man.  "It's the only thing I eat.  That's why I come here almost every day - and twice on Sundays.  Lou's has the best seafood anywhere.  How about you?" he asked, "Do you like fish?"

"Not really," she answered.  "It's too...  Fishy."

"Not here.  You see, Lou only uses the best seafood in his recipes.  And he has this special way of cleaning and preparing it, too.  It won't taste fishy.  You'll love it."

The girls father wanted to get the conversation back to fishing so he could learn more.  "What's your favorite kind of fish to catch?" he asked.

"Oh," the man started.  "I don't actually like to fish.  In fact, I've never been fishing in my life."

"But didn’t you said you loved fish?" the girl questioned.

"I do.  I just like someone to clean them up first.  That’s why I love Lou’s so much.  He prepares them so well you hardly know you’re eating fish at all.”

The little girl thought the man was silly for calling himself a fisherman when he never fished, but she didn’t know how to tell him that.  They talked for a few more minutes, and then it was her family’s turn to be seated.
As they reached the door, the man called out, “I hope to see you guys next Sunday!”  The girl just shrugged as she walked through the door.

Thoughts and Questions:

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." - Matthew 4:19

1.  How do we look if we claim to be Christians but never tell others about Christ?
2.  Have we turned our churches into a place where only cleaned up people are welcome?  How do you think Jesus feels about this?
3.  What other thoughts do you have?

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