It is morning. I am not fully awake, but I can sense the subtle change as dark of night gives way to dawn of day. Shivering, I wriggle around seeking comfort and warmth, not wanting to wake and leave the peacefulness of slumber. I feel damp sand beneath my body and remember that I camped out by the lake last night. The soft slap of water against shore reaches my ears and I sleepily wonder how the fishing is going.
Ever since I shared my lunch with Andrew and he shared it with Jesus, I have been hanging around with Peter and Andrew and the rest of the gang. Usually they don’t mind me tagging along, but Peter had been kind of grouchy these days.
Actually we are all a little edgy. Every one of us, even Thomas, is certain Jesus is no longer dead. He shows up every now and then, but is has been awhile since we have seen him and we all just wonder what is supposed to happen next. Last night I guess Peter got tired of sitting around, wondering and waiting. He suddenly jumped up and said, “I’m going fishing.” Several of the other guys joined him and I wanted to go too, but Peter said this trip was for real fishermen, not boys.
Well, that didn’t make me too happy. So here I am, left behind, sleeping on the beach
I doze, reluctant to open my eyes even as I feel the morning begin to stir. Suddenly, a comforting warmth envelopes me, like when my mother puts a soft blanket over my shoulders. I smell food cooking. Am I home?
I open my eyes. The morning sky is dark, but not black, a few stars still twinkle. I sit up and glance toward the lake. A man is silhouetted against the blushing horizon, bending over a cooking fire. The food smell becomes more distinct and I recognize the salty, meaty odor of fish cooking.
Is that Peter? Andrew? Are they back from fishing and fixing breakfast? No, through the rising mist, I can see the fishing boat, floating several yards off shore. Who is that man?
The breeze shifts and the aroma of the fish beckons me. My stomach growls, my mouth waters. I reach into my knapsack and retrieve my loaves of bread, squashed and stale looking. I look toward the shore at the man moving around the fire. The embers glow warm and welcoming in the morning blue.
I stuff my loaves back in the knapsack and walk toward the man on the shore. I know it is not polite, but I can’t seem to help myself. It is almost like he is inviting me to come.
“Been fishing?” I ask as I walk up to the fire.
“Well, I have had better luck than those poor lads.” He waves in the direction of Peter’s boat. “They have fished all night and don’t have a thing.”
I watch in amazement as he cups his hands around his mouth and hollers to the guys, “Try the other side of the boat! Cast your net on the right side and you’ll get fish!”
Whew, Peter isn’t going to like this! He usually doesn’t take fishing advice from strangers too well.
The man looks at me again, “You don’t happen to have any bread do you?”
I sheepishly hand him my misshapen loaves. “They aren’t very fresh,” I apologize.
“They’ll do. Thank you very much.” He takes my bread, squats over the fire, his back toward me. He stands up and moves away from the fire. I gasp. My ugly, squashed bread has changed into beautiful, rounded, golden- brown loaves. The aroma of fresh baked bread mingles with the smell of cooking fish.
“Are you…? What is…? Where?” I stammer.
He looks at me and smiles, “Micah,” he says, his voice warm and deep.
He knows my name!
“Micah,” he repeats. “You and I, we make some pretty good meals with bread and fish.” He smiles and I know. I KNOW!
“Peter! Andrew! He is here!” I shout toward the boat where the men were hauling in the net, full and overflowing with fish.
The Man shouts too, joyfully calling out, “Come and dine, fellows. Breakfast is ready!”
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