“Fished in?” Even as the words came out of his mouth, he knew that that couldn’t be right.
The fisherman’s grunt turned into a roar of laughter and a wide smile.
“Once you experience it,” the awkward man settled himself into a seated position betraying his vast admiration of the raging river “you centre your life around it. That's where the fishing come in.” He smiled again from ear to ear bellowing over the top of the waves, “whew! if that ain’t hard work? Tisn’t for the weak kneed, no sir. You are NOT easy to keep up wid.” He was now addressing the water like a friend.
Sam tried with all of his might to see what the fisherman saw with eyes so full of peace and assurance, love and stability. His face glowed somehow, in stark contrast to Sam’s apprehension toward the foreboding waters. He would have guessed it was the reflection from the fearful river, but yet he knew there was more to it.
The man’s tone changed to that of reflection “….fishing comes after. Tho, some do try to do the fishing b'fore,” he continued his thoughts while shaking his head sadly, “makes no sense et' all.” He heaved a heavy sigh and looked sideways at Sam, “so?”
Sam jolted with the pressure, “so..what?
“Are you gonna jump in?” the man looked strangely jubilant about offering that horrifying suggestion.
“I…..I dunno,” Sam was at once arrested by the choice that lay before him, the stuttering, itself was rearing its ugly head through the door of his soul, as if mocking him. Was he to go back to everything he was? Or jump in with full faith that change could and would happen? Sam shook himself at the obtuse contrast of light and dark. It was a quick and dreadful glimpse into what his life was about, until now. He knew for certain that going back was not an option. “Promise I won’t die?”
“No, my dear lil friend,” the fisherman squinted, “quite the opposite.”
One small step along with a huge breath taken and in Sam jumped, with full abandon. Just like the fisherman said, there was no dying, there was only the washing of this fantastic flood over him, over his soul, over his life, over his wounds, over his regrets, over his greatest missteps, over everything. Just everything. In that moment everything changed. He could almost watch all the mess and filth that threatened to drag him to hell, that meant disaster for him, get swept down stream, replacing it with the huge smile on his face. Joy of joys. He was free.
"So?!" the fisherman stood up with laughter that echoed Sam's.
"His name is Jesus!" was all that Sam had to say.