of a fisherman
A friend of mine recently lost his battle with leukemia. More than
30 years ago, Wayne Lewis adopted me as his fishing partner after
my father was hit and killed by a drunken driver. He taught me how
to bait a hook, land a sturgeon and clean all types of sea creatures.
Wayne enjoyed fishing,
but he loved telling fishing stories even more. He talked about
fishing in the choir room before church and in the parking lot after
service. "Wayne," Id say with a boyish grin, "you
need to have your own fishing show on television. No one knows more
about fishing than you."
One afternoon when we
were fishing near the Benicia Bridge in California, I asked, "Why
do you like to fish so much?"
"I guess I just
feel closer to God when I have a fishing pole in my hand and a baited
hook in the water," he replied.
It took me a while to
understand how fishing could make a person feel closer to God. But
eventually I discovered that fishing has a way of quieting our minds
and stilling our spirits so we can hear the voice of God.
Although typically jovial
and conversant, Wayne liked to fish in silence. At first I thought
he was quiet because he didnt want to scare away the fish.
But later he explained that while fishing he often pondered the
goodness of God, prayed for his wife and three daughters, and listened
to the Holy Spirit.
Wayne taught me a great
deal about fishing, but he also demonstrated the meaning of Psalm
46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God" (NIV). Sometimes
when facing imposing challenges we simply need to find a place of
solitude where all we hear are the sounds of nature and the
whispers of the Holy Spirit. In our silence we receive divine healing
In his final days, Wayne
embodied the words of Charles Finney: "If you are filled with
you will be calm under affliction
always feel prepared to die and not afraid to die, and you will
be proportionately more happy forever in heaven."
I dont know if
theres fishing in heaven, but Im confident my friend
is experiencing peace and joy and feeling "closer to God"
with or without a fishing pole in his hand.
If you want to have a
relationship with Jesus Christ and receive the promise of eternal
life in heaven, please follow the
ABCs of salvation.