It was Daniel’s favourite time of the day. The dusky morning still held some of the coolness of the night but also the promise of warmth in the slowly rising sun. He stood at the edge of the water enclosed by a world of mist and felt almost relieved to be hidden by it. There he felt most free, for no one watched his manner or expected anything from him, he was simply alone with his thoughts and his purpose.
He waded into the cool water, rippling its still surface with his steps, and cast out his net into the shallow water. His boat was undergoing another repair so a small catch would have to suffice that day – it would at least feed his family even if he would not have anything to sell.
His mind was full that morning as it had been the entire week. The teacher Jesus had been crucified only days before and it had greatly disturbed Daniel who had believed him to be the Messiah. He had heard him speak once, on a hill surrounded by thousands of people and he had seen the great miracle of the fish and the loaves. He shook his head and pulled in his empty net so that he could cast it again a little deeper. He did not know what to believe about Jesus anymore.
As he cast again something caught his eye and he looked into the mist ahead of him. He assumed it had been a boat casting near by but heard none of the usual sounds that accompanied a boat. It had been a late night, perhaps he was imagining things, he thought. But then he saw it again. A shadow moving in the mist. The shadow of a man.
Emerging from the mist came a man, walking on the water. Not in the water, but on top of it as though it were dry ground. He could hear the footsteps slapping wetly against the water and he gasped, dropping his net. Was this a ghost?
“Don’t be afraid.” The man said, his voice holding the slightest hint of amusement. “It’s only me, Jesus.”
Daniel’s eyes widened as he recognised Jesus, “But I saw you die.” He whispered.
“Yes, but you did not see me resurrected. And here I am.” He stepped down from the surface and stood in the water next to Daniel. “I’m going to need some breakfast for my disciples, could you spare some fish?” he asked.
Daniel nodded, “you can have whatever I catch Lord.”
Jesus smiled, “I won’t need quite that much.” He said and walked up to the beach. “You’d better pick up your net before those fish get away.” He said over his shoulder.
As he walked away Daniel grabbed hold of the net which was suddenly so heavy that he could barely drag it to the shore. He looked over to where Jesus was bent over, making a fire and marvelled. Another miracle, this could only be the Son of God. He felt shame at his doubt but then Jesus looked up at him as if reading his thoughts and called him over.
“Thank you for sharing your fish.” He smiled as Daniel handed him a few of the largest, “My disciples will be very pleased.”
“I have bread as well. My wife baked it last night and the herbs she added go very well with fish.” Daniel said awkwardly handing the loaf to Jesus.
Jesus took the bread, “You are a generous man, Daniel. May you be blessed all the days of your life while your hands and heart remain open.”
“I was only giving you what already belongs to you Lord.”
Jesus smiled knowingly and pressed his forehead against Daniel’s, “Blessed is the man who knows what belongs to the Lord.” He whispered and then clapped his hands purposefully. “Now you had better get those fish to market. I must go and help my disciples.”
He walked off to the edge of the beach and as the mist cleared Daniel saw the small boat whose fishermen were struggling to find a catch. Jesus called out to them and several of them jumped from the boat and began swimming towards Jesus.
Daniel’s heart was soaring as he pulled his heavy net up the beach, no catch would ever compare to this one. He had cast for fish and found a treasure.
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