Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
- TITLE: The Fishing Post
By Angela M. Baker-Bridge
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This Massachusetts’s country girl had dreamed of taking NY by storm. She envisioned herself as a super model. Everyone told her, “Why, you could be a model!” “Have you considered modeling?” “With your eyes and face you should be on billboards!”
Everyone that is, except her preacher father. He rebuked such remarks. “The body,” he said, “is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not the devil’s foothold.” “Develop your inner beauty Molly. Seek the Lord’s approval. That’s what pleases God.” It did not matter to him that getting God’s approval and pleasing God was his preoccupation, not Molly’s. She wanted to please herself and get the approval of others, not God.
These discussions frequently degenerated into arguments. They grew more passionate and angrier as father and daughter realized neither would concede. Molly turned eighteen, withdrew her savings and bought a one way ticket to NY.
Life in the ‘fast lane’ was more than Molly could handle. Photographers’ broke promises. Agents stole money. Men used her then disappeared. She tranquilized the pain before calling home, but they knew she was in trouble. She refused to visit or allow visits. The calls became less frequent. Her parents prayed relentlessly for their prodigal daughter. The years passed. She had leapt over discovery and into recovery.
Beaten, broke, aged, and ill, Molly traveled home. With each mile she feared her parents’ rejection. What if they were dead? Then where could she go? The Bus Station looked the same, although she did not. The cab brought her to the new address. When she left home her Dad resigned the church. She never asked why.
Trembling she walked to the front door. She found a sign taped to it, “GONE FISHING! While you wait, Pray for my Bait, Rev.” “He’s lost his mind!” she thought. “There’s nowhere to fish around here! Asking visitors to pray for his bait? Calling himself Rev.?” What am I walking into?
Molly spotted her old hammock and lay down to wait. Too exhausted to keep worrying, she slipped into a deep sleep. Then a car pulled into the driveway. “Thank you Jesus! Welcome home baby girl!” shouted her tearful older Mother. “Sorry to wake you but I’ve got to hold you!” Molly was relieved one parent welcomed her. After her Mom settled some, Molly asked about the sign. “Molly, would you like to see where Dad fishes?” Before Molly could respond her Mom packed sandwiches and lead her back outside to her car.
Chatting away her Mom felt compelled to update Molly on all that occurred in her five year absence. Fortunately Mom packed snacks and beverages too. Molly munched, occasionally nodded, and had a knot in her gut. Eventually she would be asked to start the updating. Her parents could never handle the truth of all she had done trying to achieve her dream.
An hour passed. Were they headed for Boston’s ghetto? “He fishes in the harbor? And it’s okay with her? They’re both senile!” Molly thought disgustedly. “Why the secrecy? She should have just told me!” Suddenly her Mom eagerly pointed to a sign, “See, see? We’re almost there!” Where? Molly only saw the most dangerous streets of Boston. The sign? It read ‘The FISHING POST.’ More turns, more ‘Fishing’ signs. Unexpectedly there it was, an old store with its’ sign ‘The FISHING POST.’ Its windows and door were painted graffiti style with fish. Molly recognized a Christian fish symbol too.
Her Mom explained, “When you left Dad tried to find you. He was overwhelmed and resigned the church.” Molly’s eyes welled-up. She assumed she was the reason; never that it was voluntarily for her. “The leads weakened and Dad prayed for direction. God showed him other parents like us, with children right here in Boston. Young people need to know their parents mess-up but still love them, and how God loves them too!” They left the car. “When Dad says he’s ‘Gone Fishing’ it’s for lost souls. ‘Pray for my Bait’ means for him to use God’s Word wisely and lovingly. The FISHING POST rescues countless souls. You helped your father to find his true calling.”
The Reverend opened the door and spotted them. Timidly Molly asked, “Dad, still fishing? I’m hungry for bait.” Crying he ran to her, held her tightly and said “I’ve saved the best just for our Molly’s homecoming!”
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