Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Fishers of men

Whenever I was here on holiday we always took out our little boat to go fishing. My husband navigated. I fished using a line coiled around a wooden frame with a spinner on the end. As we breasted the waves the spinner attracted all the surface feeders like mackerel and pollock. We did well most days and took enough home to make fish pies and feed the local cats. The odd sea bass had to be put back naturally. ( it's against the law). Ahem.
One summer the fish catch was well below average....we decided the mackerel had gone the same way as the pilchards and had a couple of bad days sitting in the boat without even a small tug on the line.
Having caught the odd sea bass of the right size I knew from experience just how exciting this can be....you have to play with them a little or they get off the line. I kept a priest in the boat to kill them with...odd name that. The dog and my husband had to look the other way whilst I dispatched them but it was better than letting them gasp for ages in the bottom of the boat. We never took anything we were not going to eat.
One afternoon late in the holiday we hadn't caught much at all and we spent our last afternoon trawling for anything that might pop up!
I felt a massive pull just as we were turning for home. Wow it was a big one. My husband turned the boat back whilst I tried to gently get the fish nearer to us without losing it.
This went on for some time and I seemed to be getting no where. I wound the line around the rowlocks and my husband increased speed. Then we heard a shout.
Perched at the end of a rock some way away was a small figure. He was desperately trying not to get pulled into the sea, his rod was bent and it looked like a losing battle. Then we realized it was us. Our fish was in fact a man. A very cross man. We abandoned the line just in time to save him from going in. I cannot repeated the words that came in our direction that day...but my great catch of the day had not been amused! However I had fished for and caught a man. It was before I became a priest but whenever I read that Jesus had promised to make us fishers of men I recall that I have actually done just that!


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