, , , , , , , ,

fish2I was such a prissy little girl. I only wore dresses and frilly little socks with patent leather shoes. When I finally got past my fear of the big farm house in the middle of nowhere that the dinosaurs must have built, I decided to go spend the weekend with the man who hung the moon, my Papaw, the apple of my eye. He and Mamaw were so old fashioned that they slept in different rooms. I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old. We all retired to bed early after watching golf on a blaring TV because Papaw couldn’t hear and refused to get hearing aids.

fish5We all went to our own corners of the big house, Papaw in his room in the back, Mamaw and I cuddled in the front bedroom where my mom used to sleep. Round about 4:30am, I felt someone nudging me. “Julie Anne, where are your playclothes?!? JULIE ANNE!! Wake up and tell me where your playclothes are!”

fish4Papaw had gone through my little red suitcase that said, “Going to Grandmas” and found my only playclothes: dresses, frilly socks, and patent leather shoes. When I told him that as I wiped the sleep from my eyes, his exasperated sigh said it all. The next thing I knew, he had handed me a cup of his special “kid coffee” (milk, sugar, and a splash of coffee for flavor), and bundled me up in his old pickup truck and we were off to Kmart, lumbering down the long driveway before the sun. He purchased for me with his meager wages a pair of blue jeans, a t-shirt, and some tennis shoes and we were off. Once I was donned in proper “Papaw attire” that was more than uncomfortable, we went fishing.

fish6The beauty that surrounded me at Cypress Lake took my breath away. I could hear the birds singing their morning song in the cypress trees that grew right out of the lake, the squirrels chased each other from tree to tree, and the fish were hopping in the warm water sustained by the rising sun. My Papaw put creepy, crawly critters on the end of my line and taught me how to cast. And we caught fish!! His proud smile warmed my heart each time I looked into his shining blue eyes for approval. On more than one occasion, I caught my line in a tree. “We aren’t fishing for squirrels, Julie Anne!” were the patient words from a loving man as he cut my line time and again.

2397_1098022163399_8645_nThe rest of that sunny day, we golfed from his homemade fairway and hole (I hit a hole in one in the field behind the house), we bowled, and we drank Shirley Temples on the porch swing. Me and Papaw! Two peas in a pod!

Jesus is so patient with me too. He wants to walk in fields with me, sit on a quiet lake, and look at me with proud, loving eyes. He cuts my fishing line and lets things loose that don’t belong, branches caught that symbolize wrong people that can’t hold the weight of responsibility. He calls me to fish in His lake breeming with souls ready to be pulled into His boat. My Papaw would be so proud! Today, I am a fisher of men!!!

fish1Mark 1:16-17 – As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”