Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: Fisher of Man
By sharron pete
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Every summer of my youth was spent with George and Ethel Jean Duncan better known as Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw. When school let out, us kids would spend a month with them. Staying up late, catching fireflies, swimming in the lake, summertime was great! Well, all except for sharing a room with my older sister, Hope.
Twice a week Paw-Paw would disappear for an hour or two on ‘official business’. Though Hope and I never knew what it was, we knew it must have pretty important. One time he skipped out right as Maw-Maw was taking her famous sweet potato pie out of the oven. ‘What could be better than Maw-Maw’s sweet potato pie?’ I knew I had to find out.
That’s why two days later when Paw-Paw made his famous exit, I decided to follow him. Hope and Maw-Maw were in the kitchen. Hope was getting her first cooking lesson. No one would even miss me. To be on the safe side, I told them I was going to play in the backyard. Then when Paw-Paw wasn’t looking I snuck into the backseat of his truck and out of sight.
Paw-Paw drove for what seemed like an eternity before we arrived. Peeking through the window in the backseat, I could see an old blue building with large white letters, ‘The Watering Hole’. I kept one eye on Paw-Paw and the other on the building as person after person went inside. I wasn’t ready to be discovered. But I had so many questions. I thought I had it figured out when I saw a couple of the men standing outside with bottles in their hands. Paw-Paw got out of the truck and walked up to the door, greeting the two as he went inside. ‘Oh no!’ I thought, ‘Paw-Paw’s a drunk!’ He must be. Even at the tender age of 8, I’d watched enough TV to know this was bad news.
I waited a few minutes before heading inside. Maybe being caught in the act would guilt him into changing his ways. When I got inside, things were different than I expected. The room was filled with people. Some of them dirty clothes on and others, holes in their shoes. Some were kids my age. All of them were lined up with plates and cups in their hands. Long tables held every kind of food imaginable. And as they moved through the line, men and women scooped food into their plates. And there was Paw-Paw standing next to the mashed potatoes.
I knew the sight of me would be enough to send Paw-Paw’s blood boiling. He hated it when I disobeyed. But this time was different. He smiled. Waving me over, he introduced me to the crowd. Then, like the Paw-Paw I knew he handed me a scooper and I took over the mashed potatoes. After about thirty minutes of scooping I figured I’d earned myself a break. I gave my scooper to Peggy, the corn lady and headed off to find Paw-Paw.
When I found Paw-Paw he was sitting with a man and a young boy. The plates and cups were pushed aside and Paw-Paw’s Bible was open. He began reading. I remembered hearing those words before. It was something about God loving the world and giving his only son, Jesus. When he finished reading he said a short prayer for the man and his son, Jimmy. And then they were on their way with a promise to see Paw-Paw ‘next time’.
Paw-Paw and I left, heading for the car. Once we got inside he told me why he came to The Watering Hole. Since he got saved he always looked for ways to help others know the God that he knew. So when Sam, the owner, mentioned closing business for a few hours each week to serve meals to the homeless and underprivileged, he saw it as his opportunity to share the Gospel over a warm meal. He took real joy in it. He helped 10 people come to know God. I asked him why he did it. “Because I’m God’s fisherman he said, a fisher of men.”
When Paw-Paw died five years ago, I bought the Watering Hole from Sam. And every Tuesday and Thursday I share a warm meal and the gospel with anyone who will listen.
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